Kelly Clarkson is planning to release new music! The GRAMMY-Award winning artist recently announced her upcoming album, saying the project has been two years in the making and is currently slated for a 2023 release date.
More importantly, the long-awaited collection culminates what Clarkson, 40, has gone through during her highly publicized separation and divorce from ex-husband Brandon Blackstock. Clarkson said that, although she initially had trouble talking about her feelings during the divorce process, penning new material for her tenth studio album while navigating new unfamiliar waters has allowed her to heal.
“This is an important album. 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,” Clarkson told Variety in a recent cover story interview.
She continued, “When my ex and I first separated, there were many emotions. It was hard. I hadn’t really been working hardcore on an album until I needed to. I was just very busy. 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.”
“My producer and I were laughing yesterday because I was like, ‘Remember that time we wrote, like, 25 songs in a week?’ A lot of those are the ones that are on the album. I literally wrote most of these almost two years ago,” she added of writing the songs for the album. “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!”
Clarkson and Blackstock, who share daughter River Rose, 8, and son Remington, 6, wed in October 2013. Clarkson filed for divorce from the talent manager in June 2020, citing “irreconcilable differences.”
Their divorce became finalized in March of 2021. And while the project has offered Clarkson a space to openly share her feelings, she says she didn’t know whether or not she would release it “because you can be very angry in that state of mind.”
“Some of the songs, they definitely cover the gamut of emotions; there’s everything on the album,” Clarkson explained of the as-yet-untitled release, which will follow 2017’s Meaning of Life. “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.”
Over the summer, Clarkson took time off from work schedule to re-shift her focus and continue working on the project. She carved out time away from her many roles, including being a judge on The Voice and hosting American Song Contest and her morning talk show, The Kelly Clarkson Show.
“I like to be busy in general. But especially when all the feelings are happening, I’m like, ‘Oh, let’s be as busy a bee as we can, so I don’t have to feel this for a minute!’ I do that, which is not healthy. I was like, ‘I just need to keep swimming like Dory, and then I’ll get there.’ That’s why taking this summer was so important to me, even though a lot of people were kind of bummed because I was supposed to do a couple of things. Obviously, I stepped down on The Voice this season because I just needed the space.”
Once her highly anticipated album drops, Clarkson will continue to stay busy with a tour planned around her project.
“I definitely am going to do shows. We’re figuring that out,” Clarkson said. “I sing almost every day because of the show, even though it’s always other people’s music. So I feel like I’m checking that box. But when you write an album that’s so personal, it’s just therapeutic to be able to get up there.”
Additionally, Clarkson will join Dolly Parton on a reimagined version of Parton’s iconic hit, “9 to 5,” which will be released on Friday (Sept. 9).
“I’m so excited to finally announce the new version of “9 to 5” I recorded with the legendary @dollyparton is coming out on September 9th!! Thank you, @shanemcanally, for making this dream a reality and putting this project together,” Clarkson wrote.
Taped in New York City, The Kelly Clarkson Show returns to NBC for Season 4, which will premiere on September 12.