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American Idol: Kelly Clarkson performs emotional rendition of Piece by Piece

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Ray Mickshaw/ Fox

Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this, and Kelly Clarkson has already had more than she can count.

The inaugural American Idol winner brought the singing competition full circle on Thursday, serving as guest judge for the final slate of Idol hopefuls. At the end of the evening, Clarkson took the stage herself, moving the crowd to tears with a performance of “Piece by Piece” that proved to be so emotional, she occasionally had to look away from the mic to compose herself.

“I’m pregnant, and it’s nostalgic, and I can’t believe it’s the last season,” Clarkson explained afterward.  

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The lyrics, which Clarkson wrote as a message to her father and her husband, didn’t hurt either.

“It’s just a touching song for me,” said Clarkson, “because I wrote it about my little girl when I was pregnant, and now I’m pregnant with my little boy.”

Watch the full performance below — and bring a box of tissues.