Kelly Clarkson brought the fire in a cover of Johnny Cash‘s “Ring of Fire.”
Kelly Clarkson and Johnny Cash
Clarkson shared the performance on her October 7 show. The stage was lit with red lights and The Voice coach belted out the classic. A portion of her band played virtually on giant television screens.
Clarkson began performing covers during every episode of her talk show and titled the segment, Kellyoke. She has covered every genre of music and given A+ performances each time.
Watch her epic performance, below.
All About ‘Ring of Fire’
Surprisingly, the song was written in 1963 by June Carter Cash and Merle Kilgore, not Johnny himself. June found inspiration from a line in a book that her uncle gave her.
However, Johnny’s first wife, Vivian Liberto claimed in her tell-all book, I Walked The Line: My Life With Johnny, that her ex-husband wrote the song. She claimed that he let June take the credit because he felt bad for her and she needed the money. She added that he allegedly wrote the song while high on alcohol and drugs about a female private body part. No other people have corroborated her claims.
The song was first recorded by June’s sister, Anita Carter. The track appeared on her Folk Songs Old and New record in 1963 on Mercury Records. The song’s title was “(Love’s) Ring of Fire.”
Johnny claimed that he had a dream where he heard the song with “Mexican horns.” “I’ll give you about five or six more months, and if you don’t hit with it, I’m gonna record it the way I feel it,” Johnny told her. He thought adding the trumpets would change his overall sound and even genre.
The song appeared on his 1963 album, Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash. He recorded the song on March 25, 1963. The single reached No. 1 on the country chart for seven weeks straight. Surprisingly, it was certified RIAA Gold in 2010, over 40 years after the song released.
It was ranked No. 27 on Rolling Stone’s list of The Greatest Country Songs of All Time and No. 87 on The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Countless celebrities have re-recorded the hit including Adam Lambert, Olivia Newton-John, Elvis Costello, among others.