Kelly Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock began dating in 2012, six years after they first crossed paths at a music event


Since she began dating Brandon Blackstock in 2012, Kelly Clarkson has had stars in her eyes.

For years, the singer — who shocked fans by filing for divorce from the music manager earlier this month — was candid about past heartbreak and the difficulties of finding a standup partner.

But then she met Blackstock. After a whirlwind engagement and romantic elopement, Clarkson became stepmom to his daughter Savannah, 18, and son Seth, 13, before quickly welcoming daughter River, 6 on Friday, and son Remington, 4.

Love at First Sight

“I’ve only had three other boyfriends that I dated, and not really seriously,” Clarkson, 38, told PEOPLE in 2013. Crossing paths with Blackstock — who was still married at the time — at a rehearsal for the Academy of Country Music Awards in 2006, the American Idol alum immediately thought he could be someone special.

2018 CMT Music Awards - Backstage & Audience
Kelly Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock
| Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

"This guy walks by, making everybody laugh. I said, 'I'm gonna end up with him. I know it,'" she said previously about Blackstock, 43.

Six years later when they met again at the Super Bowl, Blackstock was single — and "I was on the prowl," Clarkson told Ryan Seacrest in 2012 about finally making her move.

Engaged After 10 Months

After less than a year of dating, Blackstock popped the question with a yellow diamond. "I'M ENGAGED!!!!! I wanted y'all to know!! Happiest night of my life last night! I am so lucky and am with the greatest man ever :)," Clarkson tweeted on Dec. 15, 2012.

The talk show host put her happiness front and center in the music video for her song "Tie It Up" the next year, which featured multiple couples tying the knot.

“I never really thought I’d get married, so it’s kind of cool that I fell in love and I’m getting married," she told PEOPLE in a cover story two months after her engagement.

Husband and Wife

After canceling their original wedding plans, Clarkson and Blackstock eloped in October 2013. “I’m officially Mrs. Blackstock," she tweeted at the time. "We got married yesterday at Blackberry Farms in TN, the most beautiful place ever!”

The duo had originally planned to have an “earthy” outdoor wedding in the backyard of their Nashville home, but by the summer the planning had become too much and they called it off, opting instead for the low-key event.

“Our whole life is a celebration,” said Clarkson, who was thrilled to become a stepmom. “That’s what we kept laughing about. We don’t need another day where we throw a big party. We would rather have an intimate moment that’s special.”

Expanding Their Family

“When you get married, it’s like official,” Clarkson told PEOPLE a month before her wedding. “You’re starting a family, and we want to have more children, so we’re just excited.”

Less than a year after tying the knot, Clarkson and Blackstock welcomed a baby girl they named River Rose.

Kelly Clarkson, Brandon Blackstock, Savannah Blackstock, River Rose Blackstock, Remington Alexander Blackstock, and Seth Blackstock attend STX Films World Premiere of "UglyDolls
Kelly Clarkson, Brandon Blackstock, Savannah Blackstock, River Rose Blackstock, Remington Alexander Blackstock and Seth Blackstock

“I’m totally gonna have a girl. I’m manifesting it! And when I have a girl, you’re gonna be like, ‘That chick knew it!’”

Then two years later, their son Remington Alexander joined the family. In true Clarkson form, the star accidentally announced her second pregnancy in front of a sold-out crowd at Los Angeles' Staples Center.

“I was not planning on announcing this but … I’m totally pregnant," she said onstage at her show.

Their Sad — and Sudden — Split

On Thursday, PEOPLE confirmed Clarkson filed for divorce on June 4. Aside from being her manager, Blackstock also serves as an executive producer on her NBC talk show.

Clarkson had been social distancing at the couple's Montana ranch with Blackstock and their children amid the coronavirus pandemic, even filming remote episodes of her talk show The Kelly Clarkson Show from their home.

"It's a really beautiful ranch and it’s a nice getaway for our family," she said of their months-long retreat. "It's something Brandon and I have dreamed about since we were both kids. This is what we would call home."

While there have been few — if any — signs of trouble between the pair, Clarkson recently put her Los Angeles home on the market for nearly $10 million, but has since removed it.