Kelly Clarkson Says She Has a Divorce Album Coming, Reveals Expected Release Date

by Alex Falls

Kelly Clarkson has had a long and successful career since winning the first season of American Idol. Two decades after her iconic win, she’s ready to deliver her first major album in more than five years.

“It’s coming out next year. And this is an important album,” Clarkson told Variety during a cover story interview. “I’m working on this in therapy. I have a hard time vocalizing what I’m feeling sometimes, so music is helpful for me. It’s just been really healing. I recorded the record quite some time ago.”

Clarkson said the upcoming album is more than two years in the making. The new music is inspired by the emotional journey surrounding her divorce from her ex-husband Brandon Blackstock. The couple had two children.

She described when she and her husband first separated there were “many emotions.” Even though the situation was hard on her, she teamed up with her producer and cranked out upwards of 25 songs in the span of a week.

“A lot of those are the ones that are on the album. I literally wrote most of these almost two years ago,” Clarkson said. “Then I told my label, ‘I can’t talk about this until I’ve gone through it,’ and it’s just taken some time to do that. That’s one of the reasons we’ve done a lot of Christmas stuff the past two years. Because I was like, ‘Well, that’s happy!'”

Kelly Clarkson’s Crazy Schedule

Even though Clarkson hasn’t released any major music, she’s stayed plenty busy. She released a collection of holiday music last year. Plus, since 2019 she’s hosted her own talk show, The Kelly Clarkson Show. Clarkson said her schedule as both a TV personality and as a mom kept her from getting into the studio for the time needed to craft a new album.

“I hadn’t really been working hardcore on an album until I needed to. I was just very busy,” Clarkson said. “There were so many jobs, and I’m a single mom — well, even with being married, it’s a lot, trying to fit kids’ schedules in and all that stuff. But then the whole divorce thing happened, and I needed to write it.”

She continued, “And then I didn’t know if I was going to release it, because you can be very angry in that state of mind. So some of the songs, they definitely cover the gamut of emotions; there’s everything on the album. It’s almost like the arc of a relationship, because the beginning is so beautiful and so sweet, and then it evolves. And sometimes it doesn’t evolve how you want.”

The next question is, will Clarkson get the chance to perform her new music in front of audiences? According to Clarkson, her return to touring is in the works despite her busy schedule.

“I definitely am going to do shows. We’re figuring that out,” Clarkson says. “But when you write an album that’s so personal, it’s just therapeutic to be able to get up there.”