Kelly Clarkson Belts Out Taylor Swift’s Metaphorical Sigh of Relief With ‘Clean’ Cover
Like everyone else, Kelly Clarkson got tired of waiting for Taylor Swift to drop the 1989 (Taylor’s Version) re-recordings, so she decided to take matters into her own hands. During the latest Kellyoke segment on The Kelly Clarkson Show, the singer delivered a stunning rendition of “Clean,” the closing track on the original version of the album.
Joined by her band Y’all and one singular, harmony-providing backing vocalist, Clarkson took on the story of “Clean” as if it were her own. Running through the opening verse and doubling up on the chorus, she belted out Swift’s metaphorical sigh of relief: “The rain came pouring down/When I was drowning, that’s when I could finally breathe/And by morning, gone was any trace of you/I think I am finally clean.”
During Swift’s first show in Arlington, Texas, on the Eras tour, she selected “Clean” as one of the night’s two surprise setlist additions. She dedicated it to Gracie Abrams, who is currently joining her for select dates on the tour. She hadn’t performed the song in its entirety in eight years.
“I didn’t know she was gonna do that, obviously,” Abrams later told fans. “I swear to god. I swear on my life, I had no idea she was going to do that, so you can imagine my shock. I screamed in such a way for the first half. And then Casey, who’s in our band and also is newly my vocal coach, she was like, ‘You can’t fucking do that, you’re gonna lose your voice. Like, don’t be a psycho.’”
Where Clarkson’s voice is built for belting out power ballads, Abrams’ perpetually teeters on a whisper, adding a sense of quiet devastation to everything she sings. In either instance, “Clean” retains its sense of rebirth and new beginnings.