A reminder that the holidays can be hard. Kelly Clarkson tried to spread cheer during her NBC Christmas special, but she proved just how relatable she is when she explained how her divorce from Brandon Blackstock influenced her new songs.

The Voice coach, 39, got emotional before singing “Merry Christmas (To the One I Used to Know)” on Kelly Clarkson Presents: When Christmas Comes Around, which aired on Wednesday, December 1.

“The holidays come with a whole range of emotions,” Clarkson said. “I’m gonna be real with y’all — when I wrote this next song, I was crying my face off, which happens even at Christmastime, everyone. I had just put my kids to bed and I was just going through it, having a really hard time, and it’s been a really tough year for a lot of us. And I wrote this song for me, but also because there aren’t many holiday songs for people feeling alone or lost or just plain sad other than Dolly Parton’s classic ‘Hard Candy Christmas,’ which we all love. It’s about getting through a tough holiday. I absolutely love that song and it allowed me to write this.”

Kelly Clarkson Gets Choked Up Christmas Brandon Blackstock Divorce 2
NBC

The song centers around a person who wonders if everything they knew about their ex was “a lie.”

The final track Clarkson performed was “Christmas Isn’t Canceled (Just You),” a holiday breakup anthem. Both songs are from her album When Christmas Comes Around…, which was released in October.

“I was honestly a little nervous about sharing this one because it’s not your typical Christmas single,” she explained while introducing the track. “But it was the first song that I wrote for this album and I wrote it because a lot of things were taken from us over the last couple of years — people, relationships, jobs, etc. There were so many things taken. But instead of looking at everything that’s gone wrong, we should be looking at all the things that have gone right. And that’s what my therapist tells me anyway so that’s who I’m singing to! But no matter what people try to take from you, nobody can cancel Christmas, y’all.”

Kelly Clarkson Gets Choked Up Christmas Brandon Blackstock Divorce

Brandon Blackstock and Kelly Clarkson
Matt Baron/Shutterstock

Clarkson filed for divorce from Blackstock, 44, in June 2020 after nearly seven years of marriage. The former couple are parents of daughter River, 7, and son Remington, 5, while he also shares daughter Savannah, 19, and son Seth, 15, with ex-wife Melissa Ashworth.

Us Weekly confirmed in September that the pair were declared legally single, though their divorce is not set to be finalized until January 2022.

Kelly Clarkson Gets Choked Up Christmas Brandon Blackstock Divorce 2

Kelly Clarkson during “Kelly Clarkson Presents: When Christmas Comes Around.”
Weiss Eubanks/NBC

Clarkson endured a lot of “pain” during her marriage to Blackstock, leading her to finally call it quits. “She could no longer trust Brandon, and she felt that Brandon was just using her for her money and lifestyle,” a source told Us in August. “She has tremendous resentment toward him. She just wasn’t willing to look the other way anymore.”

The insider added that the singer “hasn’t and won’t ever look back,” noting that she “has no regrets about filing for divorce.”

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