Kelly Clarkson Opens Up to Garth Brooks About How Meanings Behind Her Songs Have Changed

by Halle Ames
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Anyone can see how playlists define moments in our lives. A song’s tune may take you back to recess on the playground or your first heartbreak or the moment you knew they were the one you’d wed. Lyrics can click rewind in our minds and bring back emotions from the birth of a child or a loss of a loved one or the joy of times with those you love.

Of course, singers and songwriters live this every day. Songs are basically an audio diary of their lives, tracking moments big and small, happy and sad. Kelly Clarkson recently revealed, though, that some song’s meaning and memories change as she lives out her life. She explains new moments and life experiences have crafted new meanings within the words of a tune.

Meaning Behind ‘Piece by Piece’ Transformed After Children’s Birth

Kelly Clarkson grew up without her father in her life. A challenging situation for any child. At six-years-old, her father, Stephen Michael, left her and her mother, Jeanna Taylor at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

In 2009, the singer admitted in an interview with Sirius XM Radio that her mother was too poor to raise Clarkson, her brother, Jason, and her sister, Alyssa. Jason left with her father, and Alyssa lived with their aunt and uncle in North Carolina. Kelly Clarkson said her father had “passed away months ago” in an interview from February of 2019 .

During an episode of the Kelly Clarkson Show, Clarkson opens up to friend and fellow musician Garth Brooks about the impact her father leaving had, that she didn’t realize until she became a parent. She now had two beautiful children, River Rose and Remington Alexander.

“I have this song, “Piece By Piece,” I’m the writer. It was all about, like for me, it, like, I’d never really experienced the loss of my father. Like how it never impacted me until I became a parent. Because then I knew what a parent should be and what it felt like, and I was like, I didn’t really know the loss. I didn’t know the impact, and so I wrote the song, and you know it ended up being like– I wrote the song for like my daughter and my husband at the time, and little did I know it was only a piece of this puzzle. This full puzzle.”

Kelly Clarkson “Piece By Piece”

Kelly Clarkson references “Piece By Piece” as more than just a song, but a puzzle full of hidden meaning.

“Because like, now it’s a page I have. I have this whole full puzzle sitting in front of me. Well, what I think is and you never know, and literally there’s a lyric on my new album in a song called “Rock Hudson” and it’s like ‘By the way, piece by piece, I found out my hero’s me.'”

She says that she realized that you have to rely on yourself.

“It’s not in like a negative sense in like a way it’s almost too much to put on someone to do that for you. You know? You have to do that, like, kind of yourself. Like piece by piece, you have to get there yourself. But it’s so funny because I’m the writer, and I was like, I was a little off, but I got there. I was like, it’s okay.”

Clarkson released “Piece By Piece” in November of 2015. It reached number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 list. It became Kelly Clarkson’s 11th hit to make it in the top ten.

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