While performing a free concert this past Saturday evening in Cerritos, California, Clarkson took a break from her own catalog to tackle Little Big Town's "Girl Crush," a heartbreaking doo-wop song that's slated to become the country band's next single in mid-December.
"I love this group," she told the crowd by way of introduction, her guitarist plucking the song's opening arpeggios in the background. "Anybody like Little Big Town here? Their new album is so freakin' good. It's so well done. This song is so cool. I think chicks really get this. I'm not a dude, so I don't know — you might get it, too."
With that, Clarkson launched into the first verse, cleverly telling her guitarist to ease up on the tempo by singing, "I've got a hard rush and it ain't slowing down — but we could if we wanted to." She kept the rest of the performance similarly loose, ad-libbing the occasional line and flexing her pipes over some acrobatic runs during the final minute.
Covering "Girl Crush" won't be Clarkson's last country-fried move in 2014. Next month, the Nashville-based pop star will launch her first annual benefit concert, "Miracle on Broadway," at the Bridgestone Arena, just steps away from the honky tonks that fill Nashville's Lower Broadway district. Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Ronnie Dunn, Kacey Musgraves, Nashville actor-singer Charles Esten and CMA Awards guest star Meghan Trainor will all make guest appearances throughout the holiday show, with proceeds going to a handful of children's hospitals, food banks and other local charities. Will Little Big Town be joining Clarkson onstage, too? Nothing has been announced to that effect, but the group's tour schedule winds down after December 13th… and 'tis the season for miracles, after all.