Kelly Clarkson Changes a Billie Eilish Lyric: Why Fans Think It's a Message to Her Ex Brandon Blackstock
By Meredith B. Kile
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Kelly Clarkson has wowed fans with her daily covers of pop songs during her "Kellyoke" segment of The Kelly Clarkson Show. But one song in particular had some raising their eyebrows recently, as the Voice coach made a small but meaningful change to the lyrics.
Last week, Clarkson covered an abridged version of Billie Eilish's single, "Happier Than Ever," the title track from the GRAMMY winner's second studio album, which came out in July. The bitter breakup ballad has earned radio play and viral fame on TikTok for its scathing lyrics -- notably, the symphonic swell at the end of the second verse, which is exactly where Clarkson made her change.
On the original track, Eilish sings, "I don't relate to you / I don't relate to you, no / 'Cause I'd never treat me this sh*tty / You made me hate this city."
During her Kelly Clarkson Show performance, Clarkson notably left most of the lyrical expletives in the song, opting to be bleeped rather than change the words to something more broadcast-friendly. She also changed the last line, from "You made me hate this city," to, "I get it, you hate this city."
Fans found the alteration significant, as Clarkson is in the midst of a contentious divorce from ex Brandon Blackstock, which has included a legal battle over the couple's property in Montana, where Blackstock had been working full-time as a rancher -- while Clarkson primarily lived and worked in Los Angeles. In court documents obtained by ET on Tuesday, a judge ruled that the Montana ranch officially belongs to Clarkson, based on the terms of their prenuptial agreement, which was validated by a judge in August.
Blackstock, who had been contesting the prenup, previously testified that he works full-time on the ranch and his future plans involve sponsoring rodeos and working full-time as a rancher. The talent manager also testified that he wasn't devoting any effort toward expanding his client list and music management business, and that he spent minimal time regarding his representation of his remaining client, Blake Shelton. According to a TMZ report, Shelton -- who also coaches alongside Clarkson on The Voice -- recently terminated his relationship with Blackstock, who managed him for years.
(Not for nothing, Clarkson concluded her version of "Happier Than Ever" with the lines, "You ruined everything good / Always said you were misunderstood / Made all my moments your own / Just f**king leave me alone.")
Clarkson filed for divorce from Blackstock in June 2020 after nearly seven years of marriage. They share two children together -- 7-year-old River Rose and 5-year-old Remington Alexander. In November 2020, she won primary custody of the kids.
"There's just a lot of questions that I have to answer before releasing it for myself, you know?" she noted. "It is an insane amount of getting it out. I think that's a blessing in itself... Anytime you go through some life, it's such an awesome thing to have that outlet, regardless of whether people hear it or not."