Kelly Clarkson 'Wrote Like 25 Songs in a Week' After Brandon Blackstock Split for Upcoming Album

"Some of the songs, they definitely cover the gamut of emotions; there's everything on the album," said Kelly Clarkson in a new Variety cover story interview

Kelly Clarkson Variety
Kelly Clarkson. Photo: Brian Bowen Smith for Variety

Kelly Clarkson is finally getting ready to release her highly anticipated new album.

In a new cover story interview with Variety published Wednesday, the musician and talk show host revealed her long-awaited tenth studio album will come out in 2023 — years after most of it was quickly written following her public separation and divorce from ex Brandon Blackstock.

"I'm working on my album this week. It's coming out next year. And this is an important album," Clarkson, 40, told the outlet. "I'm working on this in therapy: I have a hard time vocalizing what I'm feeling sometimes, so music is helpful for me. It's just been really healing. I recorded the record quite some time ago."

Nearly seven years after their October 2013 nuptials, Clarkson filed for divorce from Blackstock, citing irreconcilable differences, in June 2020. She seemingly began creating the album shortly afterward, telling Variety it's been in the works for "two years."

"When my ex and I first separated, there were many emotions. It was hard," said Clarkson. "My producer and I were laughing yesterday because I was like, 'Remember that time we wrote, like, 25 songs in a week?' A lot of those are the ones that are on the album."

Kelly Clarkson Variety
Kelly Clarkson. Brian Bowen Smith for Variety

After writing most of the record "almost two years ago," the American Idol alum explained, "Then I told my label, 'I can't talk about this until I've gone through it,' and it's just taken some time to do that. That's one of the reasons we've done a lot of Christmas stuff the past two years — because I was like, 'Well, that's happy!'" (Clarkson released a cover of Vince Vance & the Valiants' "All I Want for Christmas Is You" in 2020 as well as her second holiday album, When Christmas Comes Around..., in 2021.)

Given her many other personal and professional roles at the time — mother of two, host of The Kelly Clarkson Show and American Song Contest and coach on The Voice — she wasn't planning on making a new album until she "needed to."

"There were so many jobs, and I'm a single mom — well, even with being married, it's a lot, trying to fit kids' schedules in and all that stuff. But then the whole divorce thing happened, and I needed to write it," said Clarkson. "And then I didn't know if I was going to release it, because you can be very angry in that state of mind."

Detailing the album's subject matter, she continued, "So some of the songs, they definitely cover the gamut of emotions; there's everything on the album. It's almost like the arc of a relationship, because the beginning is so beautiful and so sweet, and then it evolves. And sometimes it doesn't evolve how you want."

Kelly Clarkson Variety
Kelly Clarkson. Brian Bowen Smith for Variety

In order to find time to continue working on the album this year, Clarkson stepped away from her position on The Voice and spent her summer with family in Montana while her daytime TV series was on hiatus in-between seasons — a stark change from her usually jam-packed schedule.

"I like to be busy in general. But especially when all the feelings are happening, I'm like, 'Oh, let's be as busy a bee as we can, so I don't have to feel this for a minute!' I do that, which is not healthy," detailed the "Miss Independent" singer-songwriter. "I was like, 'I just need to keep swimming like Dory, and then I'll get there.' That's why taking this summer was so important to me, even though a lot of people were kind of bummed because I was supposed to do a couple of things."

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Elsewhere in the interview, she hinted at "probably" returning to The Voice in the future and spoke about plans to perform concerts in support of the forthcoming album. "I definitely am going to do shows. We're figuring that out," said Clarkson.

"I sing almost every day because of the show, even though it's always other people's music. So I feel like I'm checking that box," she added. "But when you write an album that's so personal, it's just therapeutic to be able to get up there."

Noting that concerts will likely take place in the summertime, she acknowledged that the way she'll have to plan a tour amid her grueling work and life schedule "may not be the norm, but I'm going do it anyway."

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