Kelly Clarkson Opens Up About Her Divorce from Brandon Blackstock

by Allison Hambrick

American Idol‘s Kelly Clarkson discussed how she is coping after her divorce from Brandon Blackstock, to whom she was married for seven years. Citing “irreconcilable differences, Clarkson filed for divorce in June of 2020.

Their separation was a messy one. Blackstock sued the singer for unpaid commissions as her former manager, then she countersued. He tried to invalidate their prenup, and their custody proceedings were equally complicated. Even so, Clarkson keeps a positive outlook.

“I regret nothing,” the singer said on the Love Someone podcast. “Even unfortunate things that happen in your life, or hard things, because ‘we can do hard things.’ Glennon Doyle, one of my favorites. But also I feel like that’s what shapes you, it’s what makes you a better person, it’s what makes you recognize, oh, okay, I missed those red flags. I missed that, or I ignored that on purpose.”

Additionally, Clarkson opened up about the loneliness the divorce has created during the holiday season. The singer explained her sadness on an episode of her show, Kelly Clarkson Presents: When Christmas Comes Around.

“For me, this Christmas looks and feels a lot different than when I wrote (Underneath the Tree),” Clarkson said. “And that’s alright. The beauty of this season is we get to feel everything. Joy, longing, maybe even a little sadness.”

Clarkson channeled her heartbreak in the best way she knows how: writing a new song.

How Clarkson Turned Heartbreak into New Christmas Classic

In a performance on her show, Clarkson unveiled an emotional new song. Called “Merry Christmas (To the One I Used to Know),” the song is directly about Blackstock.

“The holidays come with a whole range of emotions,” Clarkson stated. “I’m gonna be real with y’all: When I wrote this next song, I was crying my face off, which happens even at Christmastime, everyone.”

Being alone on the holidays is hard. It can be even harder when you’ve lost someone you love.

“I had just put my kids to bed, and I was just going through it, having a really hard time,” Clarkson added. “It’s been a really tough year for a lot of us. And I wrote this song for me, but also because there aren’t many holiday songs for people feeling alone or lost or just plain sad — other than Dolly Parton’s classic ‘Hard Candy Christmas,’ which we all love.”

Anyone who watches Clarkson’s performance can see the heartbreak in her eyes and hear it in her voice. Worth noting is her claim that there are few “Christmas breakup” songs that are actually sad. Clarkson makes a solid point. For every “Merry Christmas (To the One I Used to Know),” there are five “All I Want For Christmas Is You” covers. Even most unhappy holiday songs verge on anger, not sadness.