The singer talks navigating her complicated split from Brandon Blackstock after nearly 7 years of marriage.
Kelly Clarkson wants to remain completely honest with her fans when addressing her split from her estranged husband, Brandon Blackstock. ET recently spoke with both Clarkson and her fellow The Voice coach Gwen Stefani about the highly anticipated new season of the hit singing competition, and the "Stronger" singer talked about being so open about her and Blackstock's split.
Clarkson filed for divorce from Blackstock in June after nearly seven years of marriage. Last month, she addressed the surprising split on the season 2 premiere of The Kelly Clarkson Show, noting that she didn't see it coming. Clarkson told ET's Rachel Smith that she doesn't feel pressure from her fans to be so candid about her personal life, but rather, she just wants to be herself.
"I mean, if anything, I've fought my entire career just to be me," she says. "Because most managers and publicists get nervous with me because I am an open book and labels and people frowned upon it early on. But, I don't do it for anyone else, honestly. I don't know, I come from a small town, I'm used to everybody knowing everything anyway. And, I don't know, I feel like if you're hiding something, there must be something wrong with it. And there's nothing wrong with anything -- life just kind of happens, and it takes turns that you don't expect and are sad."
Clarkson said she wanted to address her split for her concerned fans, but is definitely sensitive to how her sharing affects others -- specifically, her children. Clarkson and Blackstock share 6-year-old daughter River and 4-year-old son Remington, and she is also a stepmom to his teenage children from his previous marriage -- Savannah and Seth.
"There's a lot of hearts involved here," she notes. "And you know, that's the thing that's been kind of hard to navigate is I am an open book, but at some point I'm a mama bear more than I am a person in the public eye. So, I care one hundred percent more about my children than I do anything else on this planet. So, that's been the hard thing of, like, yes, I'm willing to share my experience and yes, it is the worst. I mean, the past few months have been horribly sad. But at the same time, I have to think, 'Hmmm, like, what I say has a domino effect in other people's lives.'"
She acknowledged that she's still learning how to handle the complicated split.
"I've been through two divorces in my family, husband as well in his own family as a child," she shares. "We didn't have social media around when that happened. And, like, having kids that run the gambit of four to 19 is a really tough thing. And, you know, I've had conversations with one of our eldest about how difficult it is in the public eye when your parents are so ... you know, one of them is so prominent and having to navigate that for them is hard on their hearts. I'm just careful also while being real."
"And I don't think that anything is -- like I said -- nothing's wrong with anybody, it's just ... it happens, and that's why there's nothing to hide about it in that sense," she adds about no one being to blame for their split. "You know, it's just, divorce is a really shi**y thing."
Stefani said that while she didn't have any particular advice to give to Clarkson -- having gone through her own highly publicized split from Gavin Rossdale in 2015 -- she noted that being able to channel emotions through music was therapeutic.
"I think the one thing that we talked about is that we're both blessed that we have our music to be able to have as an outlet, and I'm sure that, you know, eventually, people are gonna hear Kelly's record, which I got a sneak peak at some of the songs, the ones that are gonna be coming out at some point," she shares.
"God, definitely, you know, opens a window when a door just closes, it's true," Stefani -- who is now happily dating fellow Voice coach Blake Shelton following her divorce -- continues. "And, you know, to be able to be heartbroken or sad or whatever it is, it's just fueling whatever her purpose is to be a songwriter, and a singer, and that will, you know, eventually contribute back into the world and that's what her whole purpose is for. So, we're all tested here in this world. It's all happening to all of us, all the time. We all have to go through sad times, heartache, and if you look at it like, this is a test -- we all have to go through this -- that's a good way to kinda get to the other side, because everybody gets to the other side eventually."
As for the brand new season of The Voice, which premieres on Oct. 19 on NBC, the two women couldn't be happier about working together again. They'll be joined by Shelton as well as John Legend for season 19, which will obviously look different given the current coronavirus pandemic.
"Well, everyone knows how easy it is to be around Kelly," Stefani gushes. "She is so much fun and she is smart and I have learned a lot from her on the show as well, so I think it is really fun now that I know her that much better to be on a show with the circumstances being so undone. There is no audience, there is way less people on set, it feels super intimate and we all know each other so well now that it feels like you have zero awareness of the cameras and we are all friends hanging out and doing the show. We all know how lucky we are, but I think that now that I know Kelly as good as I do, it just feels comfortable and fun. It's like being with a girlfriend."
Meanwhile, Clarkson is grateful that the show can continue during the pandemic.
"It is cool though out of the four of us -- obviously Gwen and Blake are around each other, they are a little pod -- so what is cool even for us to get to see is some form of normalcy," she notes. "Well, John and I can't really do that. Blake and Gwen can hug and play and fight and be grateful and it's OK, they are allowed to do that, so, it sucks for everyone to have to watch everyone be so distant. It kind of gets a little cold. At least with this show, it is kind of cool because you are getting some form of it and I think visually, like, America getting to see that and it looks like some kind of normal visual thing that we were seeing before then, I think that is really cool actually."
For more on season 19 of The Voice, watch the video below.