Kelly Clarkson opened up about her tearful American Idol performance of ‘Piece by Piece’ and gave an encore during her appearance on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show.’ The pop music superstar, expecting her second child, opened up about the emotional night and more.

Kelly Clarkson

Photo: Kelly Clarkson
Credit: PR Photos

The 33-year-old Kelly Clarkson, the original winner in American Idol’s inaugural season, back in 2002, made a return to the show just a week earlier. To say it was an emotional return doesn’t begin to cover it, as her performance of the title track of her latest album, ‘Piece by Piece’ brought her to tears and quite a few others as well, including the panel of judges — Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick, Jr. and most especially Keith Urban who was seen with tears running down his face.

At the time, she had told the host, Ryan Seacrest, “I’m pregnant, it’s nostalgic, I can’t believe it’s the last season, I am really sorry I just bawled. I am actually quite proud I made it that far.” She also said, “It’s such a touching song for me as I wrote it while pregnant for my little girl and now I am pregnant with my little boy, which I hope comes out very soon.”

Now in her first television interview since that memorable night, which seems destined to be one of those iconic moments in American Idol history, she opened up with host Ellen DeGeneres who asked her if she was surprised by the reaction to the performance.

She said, “Yes. I came off almost in tears for a different reason because I was so embarrassed. I was like ‘Oh God this is my final thing on Idol and I could not hold it together.’ I was almost losing it almost the entire song. I was proud of myself for making it as far as I did.”

She went on to say, “My husband [39-year-old talent manager Brandon Blackstock] knows me well. I came off stage and he was like don’t ruin it. Don’t ruin the moment. Because I was like “it was so embarrassing.’

Clarkson continued her recollection saying, “I cried the whole time. I didn’t realize it was going to be that bad. And we were rehearsing that day and I just couldn’t get through it.”

Adding, “My one-year-old [daughter River Rose] is running around the same hallway as I was 19,” referring to her days on season one of American Idol.

Asked about why the song was so emotional for her, Kelly Clarkson told the host, “The song is incredibly sad.” She elaborated, adding, “It’s sad, but hopeful because a lot of us we didn’t have a bar to set as far as finding love and relationships. Or friendships in any form.”

The song itself never charted on the Billboard Hot 100, but now has received renewed interest, and her record label RCA released an “Idol” version of the song a few days later. She took to the stage on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ and delivered yet another memorable performance. You can see the full interview and watch Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Piece by Piece’ performance in the video below!