We're in love with Kelly Clarkson's new NBC show! With two seasons so far, it's got great interviews, good humor, and of course, Kelly Clarkson's signature southern charm. But perhaps the coolest segment on The Kelly Clarkson Show is the "Kellyoke" opener for each episode.
What is Kellyoke, you may ask? It's a musical performance done by Clarkson and her band where they cover a popular song. The songs are requested by Clarkson's audience, and she only has a short amount of time backstage to learn each one. But because this is American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson we're talking about, she nails each Kellyoke song every. single. time.
It's hard to give a definitive top 10 ranking of Kellyoke covers, considering Kelly gives a stellar performance of each song. So for this list, we're mentioning Kellyoke covers we feel add something new to the original version of the song, or covers that just sound really good with her strong, belty voice. Let's get into it!
Just because this song comes from a boy band, that doesn't mean Kelly can't make it her own.
In 2019, she did a rendition of the Jonas Brothers' "Sucker" from their album Happiness Begins. While the tune doesn't showcase much of Kelly's trademark belting chops, the support she gives to those high notes in the chorus may leave you some bruises from falling out of your chair.
Additionally, while this "Sucker" Kellyoke may not be the most impressive on Clarkson's resume, it sure was a crowd pleaser. It's hard to find a more dance-y, excited audience in her other Kellyoke numbers. We're suckers for this performance!
9. "Bad Romance"
There's just something about singing "Bad Romance" in C# that makes it a lot more emotional and powerful. Clarkson makes the right choice in her Kellyoke cover and performs Lady Gaga's Fame Monster song with a whole lot of gusto, grace, and great riffs.
It almost gives us a throwback to Hayley Williams' powerful piano cover back in 2010. Unlike the Paramore singer's somber version, Clarkson brings the fire and rock to this rendition: that same grit which makes "Bad Romance" such a fun party song to begin with.
8. "If I Could Turn Back Time"
Queen Cher must be proud of Kelly for this cover. "If I Could Turn Back Time," from the Goddess of Pop's 1989 album Heart of Stone, works so well with Kelly's bright, powerhouse vocals.
Not only does Kelly sound heavenly, but she looks like she's having a ball while singing this. She also gives off some raspier vocals and belts towards the end of the song that add a rock 'n' roll, P!nk-esque edge.
And that key change? Flawless. Thank god the replay button exists so we can turn back time and keep watching this cover.
7. "Dream On"
The main reason why this Kellyoke cover is so high on our list is because of Clarkson's bold choices towards the end of the song. At first, Kelly's performance of Aerosmith's "Dream On" is tame - a little underwhelming, even. That's until she hits that iconic bridge just before the last two choruses and, well...you've just got to listen for yourself.
With this Kellyoke, Clarkson proved Steven Tyler's legendary vocals could be taken up a notch, even when it seemed impossible to do so. It also showed her adeptness for hard rock classics in addition to pop hits and country tunes. We can't imagine how hard it was for Kelly to sing the last half of this cover, and how pressure-filled it must have been for her to take the risk. We're glad she did! It definitely paid off.
6. "Any Man of Mine"
We'd like to thank whoever requested this song for having good taste in music and creating this amazing performance. Kelly adds both a toughness and sugary excitement to Shania Twain's classic 90s' song "Any Man of Mine," recruiting her fiddle player, Cory Churko, to help out with the riffs.
It wasn't the first time Kelly covered a song by the Canadian country singer. In 2012, Clarkson sang her own version of "You're Still the One" during a performance in Windsor, Ontario. We can only pray for a Kelly Clarkson and Shania Twain crossover in the future.
5. "You Say"
Looking for something to make you cry? Kelly Clarkson's cover of Lauren Daigle's "You Say" might do the trick. Even at the end of the performance, an emotional Kelly says, "YOU'RE crying. I'm fine. This song is so good. Get it, Lauren Daigle."
This Kellyoke proves that not only is Clarkson skilled at the fun-loving belty bop, but also contemplative ballads. This digital performance is dedicated to all the frontline workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
4. "Before He Cheats"
Clarkson paid tribute to her fellow American Idol alum Carrie Underwood with this stunning rendition of "Before He Cheats." It's so cool to hear this song on another twangy voice, especially Kelly's. The high notes, strength, and rage required to nail this song might intimidate most singers, but not her.
Additionally, we love the little head voice high note she throws in at the end of this cover. Kelly Clarkson has done a lot of country songs for Kellyoke, but "Before He Cheats" is without a doubt her best.
Sia's "Chandelier" is a beast to perform. There are so many long belts and high notes involved, it's enough to break even the best singers' voices. But not Kelly's.
Not only does Kelly hit all the challenging parts of this song perfectly, she manages to make the bop her own with a different key from the original and unique riffs during the bridge. The song also brings out a sassier part of her voice. The only disappointing thing about this cover is how short it is! If only we could get "Chandelier" on a new Kelly Clarkson album.
2. "Rolling in the Deep"
Not only does Kelly hit the notes of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" flawlessly, she manages to get the emotions right, too. She takes her time in the beginning with scintillating vocals, then charges into the deep with supported belts and subtle riffs.
It's hard to find someone who can perform this song better than Adele, but Kelly Clarkson proves herself to be a worthy contender. "Rolling in the Deep" is a perfect song for her voice due to its depth, yet requirement to be loud. It shows off all of Kelly's chops beautifully.
In our research for this article, we found several testimonies from fans saying Kelly's performance of Heart's 1987 hit "Alone" is one of the best she's ever done. After watching it, we can confirm they are absolutely correct.
This cover has everything. The gentle slow parts. The powerful belts. The raging emotions. Quite frankly, it sounds like it was written for a Kelly Clarkson studio album. We can't even remember how Nancy and Ann Wilson sang this after listening to Kelly's version.
We even love the little cameo she gifts her audience members towards the end of the performance. It proves that not only is Clarkson one of the most talented singers of our generation, but one of the most gracious television hosts, too.
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Article Image: Kelly Clarkson singing during the 2019 Global Citizen Festival at Central Park. (lev radin via Shutterstock.)