Kelly Clarkson Opens Up About How Divorce Inspired Her to Sing on Jake Hoot Duet

The emotional ballad features a theme that's all too familiar.

Written by Chris Parton
Kelly Clarkson Opens Up About How Divorce Inspired Her to Sing on Jake Hoot Duet
Kelly Clarkson with Hoda & Jenna and Jake Hoot; Screengrab courtesy of NBC

Kelly Clarkson and her Voice protege Jake Hoot have a gripping new duet out called “I Would Have Loved You,” and on TODAY with Hoda & Jenna, the pop/country superstar reveled how her divorce made her want to record it.

Speaking alongside Hoot on the morning show Monday (March 1), Clarkson explained how last summer’s divorce from Brandon Blackstock (her manager and the son of Reba McEntire’s ex-husband, Narvel Blackstock) left its mark. Citing irreconcilable differences for their split, the star has been candid about how difficult it’s been trying to carry on, and apparently that’s a big part of why she gravitated to Hoot’s co-written song.

A what-could-have-been-ballad, full of soaring emotions and soaring vocals, Clarkson told her hosts she understood the song’s theme all too well — even looking to First Lady Jill Biden for help at one point. And she’s been writing “a ton” to work through her grief.

“This message is unfortunately so relatable to so many people,” Clarkson said. “It’s like ‘Man, I would have loved you so hard, and now it’s like, gone.’ That’s a lot of loss and grief.”

For his part, Hoot opened up about how the song was co-written with Lonestar member Doug Sam and Jamie Moore, and also talked about the support Clarkson has given him since their time on NBC’s The Voice.

Hoot was a contestant on season 17 of The Voice, which he ultimately won with help from Kelly Clarkson as his mentor, and season 20 of the show is now back underway. They’ll share clips of the elegant new empty-theater video for “I Would Have Loved You” tonight (March 2), and Hoot’s debut EP, Love Out Out Of Time, is out now.