Kelly Clarkson’s recent tearful performance of her hit “Piece by Piece” on last week’s American Idol STILL has people talking—and for good reason. The original “Idol,” now 33, also performed the heartbreaking song on “Ellen” and sat down with Ellen Degeneres in a show that aired today to talk about how the song was written about her own dad, who abandoned her when she was just six years old.
She said she feels so lucky to have found a husband who loves her, their daughter River Rose, and the son they are expecting—a man who she knows will not repeat the sins of her father. She also said after the Idol performance, she had a talk with her sister, who has also been lucky in love. She said, “So my sister [Alyssa] and I had a conversation afterwards — I ended up writing this song about how lucky we are because we both found incredible fathers and just lovers and men and just partners. I feel really lucky because I feel like a lot of girls with daddy issues don’t end up that way; we end up going the same [direction].”
“Daddy issues”—that phrase really struck me. Clarkson is living proof that kids AREN’T resilient enough to just “get over” the abandonment of a parent. Praise God she has been able to become a functional adult with a stable family despite the hurt that lingers—and that she is able to express her hurt so eloquently. “Piece by Piece” is so powerful, I am hoping it will speak to the hearts of parents who might be thinking about chucking their parental responsibilities. I am sure Kelly would agree that if it turns even one parent toward their child, it was worth dredging up her own painful memories.