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Kelly Clarkson Turns ‘Piece by Piece’ Into an Empowering, Post-Divorce Anthem

Kelly Clarkson totally upended her 2015 song “Piece by Piece,” transforming what was once a devotional anthem to her former husband into a song of self-love and triumph.

On the original “Piece by Piece” — released in 2015 on the album of the same — Clarkson compared her relationship with Brandon Blackstock to the way her own father treated the singer and the rest of her family during her tumultuous childhood. As she told The Huffington Post at the time, “I didn’t realize the gravity of the situation until I had a child of my own, and until I experienced love like I do with Brandon on the daily. I guess you don’t realize something is missing until you feel it.”

In the wake of her 2020 divorce from Blackstock, though, Clarkson decided to not-so-subtly alter the “Piece by Piece” lyrics during her ongoing Las Vegas residency. Rather than the chorus celebrating a man for never walking away, asking for money, or providing care, Clarkson put the chorus totally in the first person: “But piece by piece, I collected me up,” she sings, adding later, “I just walk away, when they ask for money/I take care of me, cause I love me.”

The most pointed change came at the very end of the chorus, with Clarkson turning the original “Piece by piece, he restored my faith/That a man can be kind and a father could stay” to “Piece by piece, I restored my faith/That a heart can still beat even when it breaks.”


Clarkson loosely acknowledged the lyrics change prior to performing “Piece by Piece,” telling the crowd: “This song, I initially wrote just super hopeful, right? And well, sometimes, hopeful turns into hopeless. So here we go, ‘Piece by Piece.’” 

This isn’t the first time Clarkson has used a bit of artistic license to alter a song and address her divorce. Back in March, during her Kellyoke segment on The Kelly Clarkson Show, she covered Gayle’s breakout hit “Abcdefu” and beyond dropping “fuck” for “forget” — because this was on daytime TV after all, she changed the lyrics to, “Forget you and your dad/And the fact that you got half/And my broken heart/Turned that shit into art.” (The “shit” was actively censored for broadcast.) 

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