Kelly Clarkson gave the television debut of her cover of the Guess Who’s “American Woman,” performing the classic hit on Wednesday’s 2018 CMT Music Awards.
With an introduction from a gospel choir in full robes, Clarkson began her portion of the performance slow and low, smoke wafting across the stage in front of her silhouette. As her band joined in and brought a blues-rock edge to the song that recalled the attitude and heaviness of Janet Jackson’s strutting “Black Cat,” Clarkson showed off her considerable range and tossed in a few soulful ad-libs as the song raced toward its big finish.
Originally recorded in 1969 by Canadian band the Guess Who, “American Woman” has seen numerous versions over the years – notably, Lenny Kravitz enjoyed a Number Three Mainstream Rock hit with his 1999 version recorded for Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. Clarkson’s version was recorded in conjunction with an upcoming Paramount Network series of the same name, starring Alicia Silverston and Mena Suvari and set to premiere on June 7th.
Clarkson recently wrapped up her first season as a coach on NBC’s The Voice, where she guided 15-year-old contestant Brynn Cartelli to victory.