During a private show for SiriusXM listeners at the Highline Ballroom in New York City Friday, the 35-year-old Grammy winner revealed to the crowd that Blackstock was the first man that gave her that feeling inside.
“This isn’t a downer to anybody I dated before him, but I’m just going to be real: I never felt like, honesty, sexually attracted to anybody before him,” Clarkson confessed. “And I’m not downing my exes. You know, everybody’s different. But there was something about him.”
“I honestly thought I was asexual — I’d never been turned on like that in my whole life,” she said. “I was like, ‘Oh that’s that feeling… okay! That’s what they were talking about in Waiting to Exhale.’ I just got it. I just didn’t have a clue.”
The pair, who married in 2013, first met at a rehearsal for the Academy of Country Music Awards in 2006 where she was performing a duet with Rascal Flatts on their tune “What Hurts the Most.” Blackstock was the country group’s tour manager at the time.
“My guitar player’s wife Ashley was my date for that night and we had just both been in crap relationships,” Clarkson explained. “Sometimes it sucks dating because it’s so many wrong ones until you get the right one. And we were like, ‘Okay, what we’ve been doing wrong here’ — because it was a country music event and we’re both southern girls — we were like, ‘We’ve been dating skinny jeans and we need Wranglers.’ ”
“Literally, I’m not joking, he walked past us at that time,” Clarkson continued. “And he walked by, I was like, ready to take it all off. I just felt something.”
Nothing happened then, of course. He was married at the time to Melissa Ashworth, and as Clarkson was quick to point out to the crowd, she “ain’t that girl.”
“Honestly, I didn’t even talk to him,” she said, explaining that it wasn’t until 2012, when Blackstock and Ashworth divorced, that Clarkson even saw him again — well after learning about his split from Blackstock’s father, Narvel (who was managing her), and Narvel’s now ex-wife Reba McEntire.
“We didn’t really know each other; I had just met him that one time,” Clarkson recalled. “Just from that one time, even six years later, I had never really dated anyone. I honest to God thought, ‘Is this what it’s like to be asexual?’ I was just not attracted to people.”
Clarkson and Blackstock would finally end up meeting at the Super Bowl in 2012, where she was performing the national anthem and Blake Shelton, whom Blackstock manages, was singing “America the Beautiful” (alongside his now ex-wife Miranda Lambert).
The event was high-pressure for Clarkson, and not for the reasons one might think.
“I was so nervous because it wasn’t that I didn’t want to suck for the millions of people watching, I didn’t want to suck because I was trying to impress a guy,” Clarkson joked. “I wanted him to be like, ‘Damn.’ It had nothing to do with the Super Bowl!”
“We didn’t even know each other, but he had walked past me once and there was a moment in my crazy head,” she said. “He thought I hated him, too. When I finally confessed that, ‘I really dig you,’ He was so shocked because he thought I hated him. I hadn’t let on that I liked him. Inside I was like, ‘Ask me out!’ but outside I was like, ‘I love being single and coming home every night alone. It’s awesome.’
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She remained coy on what exactly she said that got Blackstock interested (“It involved alcohol … you get really bold when you’re drunk”). But looking back, on it all, the “Because of You” singer — who shares four kids with Blackstock now, including 16-year-old stepdaughter Savannah, 10-year-old stepson Seth, 18-month-old son Remington “Remy” Alexander and 3-year-old daughter River Rose — knows that what she has with Blackstock is unique.
“It’s a hard thing to find that feeling,’ she said. “I always tell [Savannah], ‘Wait it out. Wait until you get those goosebumps.’ Because if it’s not, it’s not worth it.”