Before unexpectedly filing for divorce last June, Kelly Clarkson had a nearly completed album slated for a 2020 release. She’d even released an ambitious single, “I Dare You.” However, Kelly’s ongoing divorce has caused her album to switch gears. Last September, she described how personal the new album will be; in December, she also revealed a new song title, “Rock Hudson,” a sequel to her 2015 single, “Piece By Piece.” Today, Kelly dishes even more exciting news: she’s written 60 songs for her upcoming album!
In an exclusive interview with ET that was published this morning, Kelly talked about her “honest” new album, the tough decisions she’ll need to make about it, and the huge amount of inspiration that has led to her writing 60 songs for it.
As Kelly described:
I have this record that we’re working on. It’s really great and really honest. There’s just a lot of questions that I have to answer before releasing it for myself, you know? Whether that be business-wise or personally or whatever. Whatever happens though, it is such a gift. Like, I don’t know how anybody, I’ll just be real with you, goes through grief like divorce, any kind of grief, any kind of loss, without having an outlet like this.
I have written like 60 songs, it is an insane amount of getting it out. I think that’s a blessing in itself. Anytime you go through some life, it’s such an awesome thing to have that outlet, regardless of whether people hear it or not.
However, Kelly has also been candid about her hesitancy in releasing certain songs. As she explained last fall, other loved ones — including her children — are involved. She strives for a balance between expressing herself honestly in music, but also not putting out something that will negatively impact her kids. As Kelly told ET, when she writes something so personal, she must ask herself, “What are you willing to put out there?”
I hate that I had to go through “Because Of You” or “Piece By Piece” [moments]. Certain songs that I’ve written certainly have shaped me, but have been really hard. They’re just difficult decisions to put those out because they’re so personal. But the other side of you is like, “Man, how many people have come up to me.” Like, “You have no idea. I never wanted to talk about it, I never have told anyone this.”
Music has that way, even for me. I listen to other artists and music has a way of healing you.
This was a short but revealing interview. Read the whole piece with ET here.
At this point, we’re thinking Kelly’s upcoming album will be her most personal and raw since 2007’s My December. It could also be her first since then to feature a tracklist for which she co-wrote every single song… we can dream, right?
But note that one song expected to make the cut was written by Brynn Cartelli (Kelly’s first The Voice winner); we don’t know if Kelly co-wrote on that. It’s also possible that her 2020 single “I Dare You,” which Kelly did not write, could appear on the album, too. We shall see.
“I Dare You” & A Mystery Duet
Last April, Kelly released her single “I Dare You” – in five languages. The solo version is in English, but Kelly also did five duets, each in a different language. She sings it in Spanish with Blas Cantó, in French with Zaz, in German with Glasperlenspiel, in Arabic with Faouzia, and in Hebrew with Maya Buskila.
Kelly revealed that releasing a song with multi-language duets had been a goal of hers for many years. She never had the right song or team before, and she’s thrilled she got to record “I Dare You” with so many artists and languages. Kelly began this project in 2019, and though it was a lot of work, it was worth the time and effort!
In May, Kelly also talked about some other songs she’d recorded, including a mystery duet:
I already have several songs – MANY songs – for the album recorded. And I actually just recorded a duet that I wish I could talk about. But I can’t yet. It’s so good! I happened to sing with this person within the last six months, and we love singing together so much. It was so cool how our voices just sounded together. And I was just like “Ahh!” So my label found this perfect song, and we just recorded it.
I think it might be the next single we release, but I’m not sure, but it’s definitely on the next album coming out.
Kelly wouldn’t reveal who the mystery duet partner was or where they had recently sung together. It had to stay a secret for the time being! She continued to describe the song, first saying, “It’s kind of a different flow as a duet as well”; Kelly also said that, stylistically, it could have fit in on her last album, Meaning Of Life. Other songs harken back to albums like Breakaway and Stronger.
A New Direction… & New Tracklist?
At this point, it’s unclear if “I Dare You,” the mystery duet, or the other songs Kelly had recorded by spring 2020 will still make the album. It’s also unclear if it will still sound like a mixture of Breakaway, Stronger, and Meaning Of Life. Since Kelly is pouring her emotions and personal experience -– especially her divorce –- into the music, this may turn out to be a very different album from what she’d started. And now, with 60 songs newly written, several of them are bound to appear on her album.
We can’t yet say whether it will have My December vibes, but that has been her most personal and raw record to date. We predict her new album will have similar amounts of emotional vulnerability. But, based on what Kelly has shared recently, it may also offer more wisdom and hope, too.
Recent Holiday Songs & Collaborations
Beyond her upcoming album, Kelly has also kept in good cheer this past holiday season with a pair of festive songs. She teamed up with country singer Brett Eldredge for their new song “Under The Mistletoe.” Kelly also covered the seasonal country classic, “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”
Last month, Kelly and her season 17 winner of the The Voice, Jake Hoot, teamed up for the country ballad, “I Would’ve Loved You.”
Are you excited to hear some of the 60 songs Kelly has written recently? We’re sure her upcoming record will be her best yet. Keep checking back here for more information on Kelly’s upcoming 8th studio album — expected out by the end of 2021 — and all the latest Kelly Clarkson music news.