Kelly Clarkson Sings Brandi Carlile's 'The Joke' - Rolling Stone
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See Kelly Clarkson’s Soaring Cover of Brandi Carlile’s ‘The Joke’

Vocalist performs the Grammy-winning song during a stop on her Meaning of Life Tour

Kelly Clarkson has been weaving covers of some of her favorite songs into the setlist on her current Meaning of Life Tour. So far, she’s interpreted Patsy Cline, Lauryn Hill and Lady Gaga, singing the Oscar-winning “Shallow” at a Wisconsin tour stop. Last week in Detroit, Clarkson lent her voice to Brandi Carlile’s dramatic “The Joke.”

“She is so inspiring, and talented and just a really rad human,” Clarkson says of Carlile, before adding, “I hope I do it justice, Brandi.” Clarkson needn’t have worried: her performance of “The Joke,” a husky, deliberate reading, soars, with the singer showcasing the dramatic vocals that have made her such a thrilling live draw.

“Woo, she can write a song, y’all,” Clarkson ad libs after singing the first verse, acknowledging Carlile’s gift as a storyteller. Carlile won the Grammy for Best American Roots Song for “The Joke” earlier this month.

Clarkson’s Meaning of Life Tour resumes this week with a show in the singer’s native Texas and runs through March 30th, with stops in Boston, Baltimore and Nashville. Her latest album, Meaning of Life, was released in 2017.

Carlile, meanwhile, will return to the road on March 23rd, playing Panama City Beach, Florida. She is also set for a string of festivals this summer, including Bonnaroo, Telluride Bluegrass and the Moon River Festival in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

In This Article: Brandi Carlile, Kelly Clarkson


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