Kelly Clarkson Debates With Common on If You Can Be Friends With Your Ex

The duo plays 'Finding Common Ground,' in which they debate one of the most controversial topics from a past episode.

Common and Kelly Clarkson are tackling the age-old question, "Can exes be friends after their breakup?" When the rapper makes an appearance on Tuesday's episode of the singer's daytime talk show, the pair plays a new segment called "Finding Common Ground," in which they debate one of the most controversial topics from past episodes of the show. 

Common, who is currently in a relationship with Jennifer Hudson, is firm on the idea that people can be friends with their exes, using his dating history as an example.

"I've been friends with a lot of exes that I've had -- and they've been long relationships -- 'cause most of 'em end pretty good," the rapper shares. "I mean, we go through stuff at the beginning of the breakup, but then once we come to our grounds, it's like, we both good people, we cool people."

Clarkson, on the other hand, is a little more doubtful. While the host acknowledges that she only has "a couple that I'm just like, 'Hard pass,'" she says being friends with exes can be more complicated.

"If we ran into each other, we'd be totally friendly," Clarkson reasons before adding that she'd even attend a party if invited by a few of her exes. "I just feel like it can get awkward," she adds. 

In the end, Clarkson says that the circumstances would ultimately decide if a friendship could work. "It depends, it's situational," she concludes. "But mostly, no. I feel like that's awkward!"

Clarkson's apprehension is fair considering how contentious her recent spit became. The singer filed for divorce from her ex-husband, Brandon Blackstock -- who also acted as her manager for a time -- in June 2020, after seven years of marriage. The pair has two children together, 9-year-old daughter River Rose and 7-year-old son Remington Alexander. Following many legal and custodial setbacks, the pair's divorce was finalized in March 2022.

As part of the divorce agreement, Clarkson was ordered to pay Blackstock $1.3 million and contribute $45,000 per month in child support for their two children. Additionally, Blackstock was granted $115,000 per month in spousal support, set to conclude this month.

In November 2023, the "Miss Independent" singer obtained another legal victory over Blackstock's alleged overcharging when he was her manager. 

Legal documents obtained by ET reveal that Blackstock went beyond the bounds of his position by booking gigs and finalizing contracts for the star on platforms such as The Voice, Norwegian Cruise Line, Wayfair, and as the host of the Billboard Music Awards. The commissioner's decision indicates that, with few exceptions, only agents are permitted to lawfully secure such roles for talent. As a result, Blackstock has been ordered to hand over commissions totaling over 2.6 million to Clarkson.

Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS

Since the split, Clarkson and her children have relocated from Los Angeles to New York City. 

In a cover story for People magazine published earlier this month, Clarkson said that she didn't care to marry the first time around, and she'd only consider it again with one important caveat. 

"[Brandon] had children, a religious background, and it was important, I think, for him. But I've never been that person. Because I've been through a couple divorces in my family, I just don’t like to put any weight on it. It can happen; it doesn’t have to happen," Clarkson told the outlet.

"For my kids, I definitely would never even think about it until they're out of my house," she said of remarrying in the future. 

"I've always known that love is hard," she also shared. "For me, love has always come with this elephant in the room of sadness. I’ve known love is not forever. I don't mean that to sound depressing, but I think we put a lot of pressure on that word. Sometimes love is looking at someone and going, 'This is not good for you. This is not good for me.' That's a hard thing to face. But when you do, I think you grow."

Meanwhile, Common, who confirmed his relationship with Hudson on her daytime talk show this week, has been opening up about their bond as he promotes his upcoming book, And Then We Rise: A Guide to Loving and Taking Care of Self. 

Chris Millard/Warner Bros.

On Monday, the rapper appeared on Today with Hoda & Jenna, where he discussed the buzz surrounding his appearance on The Jennifer Hudson Show.

"We had a little fun, and it was great to be on The Jennifer Hudson Show," Common said. "And you know I felt like, 'Man, why not just be loving and honest with who I am and who we are? I'm a person that is very private, I know what things are sacred. So any relationships I have are not for public consumption, but at the end of the day, on her show we had a good time."

Common and the EGOT recipient first sparked dating rumors in 2022. In November, the pair was spotted holding hands, and have since attended various outings including basketball games together. The pair has remained tight-lipped about their romance until this week.

Common, who has never been married, was asked by the women if he now believes that he is ready to tie the knot.  

"I feel like I have grown and the work that I have done on myself has allowed me to see that I am the marrying type," the And Then We Rise author shared. "I'm capable and have the capacity. At some point in my life I may want to do that. I would know when the right time is. For me, everything is divine, like I work from that discernment that when God speaks into your stomach and your heart and into your stomach. So when I feel that, I will communicate that with that person and if she's feeling that, then that will be that."  


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