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Kelly Clarkson Honors MLK Day With Powerful U2 Kellyoke Cover of ‘Pride (In the Name of Love)’

Kelly Clarkson honored Monday’s (Jan. 15) nation MLK Day holiday with the perfect Kellyoke tribute. The singer took the stage to perform an amped-up version of U2‘s 1984 anthem “Pride (In the Name of Love),” the iconic anthem by the Irish rockers that features lines paying tribute to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Clapping along to the song’s iconic rolling drum and chiming guitar chord intro, Clarkson somberly sang the tune’s indelible opening lines: “One man come in the name of love/ One man come and go/ One man come he to justify/ One man to overthrow,” before climbing into her high, powerful register for the song’s shout-along chorus, “In the name of love/ What more in the name of love.”

As her house band chugged along behind, Clarkson then jumped to the third verse, which most specifically references King, detailing his assassination and lasting legacy; the singer performed the lyrics not as originally written — with an erroneous “early morning” reference to the time of day of King’s 1968 killing that U2 singer Bono has since copped to fudging — but with the updated nod to the early evening attack at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis that felled the civil rights figurehead.

“Early evening, April four/ Shots ring out in the Memphis sky/ Free at last, they took your life/ They could not take your pride,” Clarkson sang urgently before ending the performance with one of her patented sky-high power notes on a day when many Americans reflect and turn to acts of service to honor King.

It was not the first time Clarkson has taken on a U2 song on her wildly popular Kellyoke segment, previously performing the soaring “Beautiful Day” in 2021 and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” during the the Black Lives Matter protests following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020.

Watch Clarkson pay tribute to King below.

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