Credit: Michael Rozman / Warner Bros.

Kelly Clarkson has called her emotional American Idol rendition of “Piece by Piece” an “unforgettable moment,” but there was a time when she thought she’d never forget it for the wrong reasons.

On a visit to Thursday’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Clarkson says that after moving the crowd to tears, “I came off almost in tears for a different reason, because I was so embarrassed. I was like, ‘Oh God, this is my final thing on Idol and I could not hold it together.’ I was almost losing it almost the entire song.” It took a backstage pep talk from her husband to remind her not to “ruin the moment” by giving in to her embarrassment.

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Clarkson calls her husband an “incredible father” and credits him with inspiring the song. She tells DeGeneres that her pregnancy and the sight of her own daughter running around the American Idol hallway only added to the nostalgia.

“Emotionally, I was on a slip and slide from hell.”

Check out the video to see Clarkson’s full thoughts on the memorable performance.

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