HomeEntertainmentMusicKelly Clarkson Reveals What Garth Brooks Song Helped Her Through Divorce

Kelly Clarkson Reveals What Garth Brooks Song Helped Her Through Divorce

by Kayla Zadel
(Photo by: Adam Christopher/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Celebrities are no different than us. They find solace in music during difficult times, and Kelly Clarkson is telling Garth Brooks what song of his helping her on her talk show “The Kelly Clarkson Show.”

“I was listening to my playlist, and ‘The Dance’ came on, and I was like, that’s the thing,” Clarkson tells Brooks. “I literally wrote this whole thing therapeutically for me, and it’s actually on my next album.”

Clarkson sings a bit of what she wrote, and it cites “The Dance” in the lyrics. Then she tells the country music icon that she actually used to sing the hit song when she during her childhood, but it never occurred to her what the song was about until now as she’s going through her divorce.

Brooks says, “That’s a great song right there. That’s the character of a great song.”

The talk show host says that there’s so much grief in the song, as well as loss and change. She “got the point” of the song after she felt like she could relate to it directly.

The lyrics do seem to encapsulate the feeling of a love-gone-wrong, while still being a reflection of gratitude for the moments shared. Thankful for the dance, but recognizing the pain. Appreciative of lessons learned, while understanding the differences between individuals.

“The Dance” seems to sum up what Clarkson must be feeling: the fact that time wasn’t wasted in a relationship that ended, and that nothing can be traded for the moments and memories made.

I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end
The way it all would go
Our lives
Are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I'd have had to miss
The dance

Garth Brooks Tells Kelly Clarkson He Almost Didn’t Release ‘The Dance’

Yes, you read that right. The mega-country artist almost didn’t release the song that has now arguably defined his country music career. Brooks says that he first heard the song at the iconic music venue and liked it, but wasn’t one-hundred-percent sure about it.

The self-titled album was almost finished, and music producer, Alan Reynolds, asked Brooks what he was waiting for. Brooks told Reynolds that he wasn’t sure if it was “country” enough to add to his debut album. The music producer replied with something profound to Brooks that he still remembers today.

“If you don’t cut ‘The Dance’ if you don’t record that song, it’ll be the biggest hit you never had,” Brooks remembered Reynolds’ words. But he couldn’t help wondering — was the song muddy boots and trucks and country grit enough?

The “If Tomorrow Never Comes” singer finally took Reynolds advice and added the now legendary song to his first album.

Breaking Down ‘The Dance’

Even though this iconic hit is the last song on Garth Brooks’ debut album, it’s perhaps the most iconic. Songwriter Tony Arata wrote it and Brooks released it in 1990. 

This song has gone on to inspire movies. Many couples use it as a wedding song. However, its interpretation can mean so much more than love. Brooks has even said that to Arata, the song has always been about the bigger picture.

“To a lot of people, I guess ‘The Dance’ is a love gone bad song,” says Brooks according to Wide Open Country. “Which, you know, that it is. But to me, it’s always been a song about life. Or maybe the loss of those people that have given the ultimate sacrifice for a dream that they believed in, like the John F. Kennedy’s or the Martin Luther King’s. John Wayne‘s or the Keith Whitley‘s. And if they could come back, I think they would say to us what the lyrics of ‘The Dance’ say.”

The music video for “The Dance” features individuals that lost their lives doing things they love. Faces like Lane Frost, Martin Luther King Jr., as well as the crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger can all be seen in the video.

In 1990, the song’s video earned Garth Brooks the Academy of Country Music Award for Video of the Year as well as Song of the Year. 

During the ceremony Brooks honors the late Dale Earnhardt with a heartfelt performance of “The Dance.”