A fierce feminist drama that draws inspiration from the women’s liberation movement of the 1970s, Alicia Silvertone’s American Woman needed an equally feisty performer to lay down vocals for its titular theme song. So, Paramount Network found the appropriate powerhouse to do just that in the form of Kelly Clarkson, and EW has an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the Grammy winner’s recording process.
The clip (above) opens as Clarkson belts a verse from the classic rock song, originally recorded by The Guess Who in 1969. She then discusses her approach to the reimagined song, which is set to play atop the new series’ opening credits.
“I got to see the whole trailer for [American Woman] and the vibe of it, which I love, and I kind of got together with Jason Halbert, the producer of this song, and we wanted to create this moody kind of vibe and kind of pay homage to that ’70s classic sound of it, too,” Clarkson says of working with Halbert, her long-time music director who’s crafted songs alongside her since the release of her sophomore album Breakaway in 2004.
“There are all these things that we love and we felt we wanted to represent American Woman and the whole lyric of it,” Clarkson continues as footage of her in a recording studio flash onscreen. “The strength and the boldness and the powerfulness I feel like American women exude.”
Judging by what Silverstone, who leads the program opposite Mena Suvari, Cheyenne Jackson, and Jennifer Bartels, told EW of American Woman‘s themes, it’s safe to say Clarkson’s interpretation is spot-on.
“She’s a firecracker of a woman. She’s a trailblazer of her time… the period is so vibrant,” Silverstone previously said of her “badass” character, Bonnie Nolan — inspired by the real-life mother of Real Housewives star Kyle Richards. “Sex is oozing out, and everything [for women’s liberation] is bubbling up; they’re burning their bras, and two years before our story [takes place] was Roe v. Wade… One of our teases is ‘Liberation is a bitch.’ [We’re observing] liberation, and then [asking]: How do you deal with it?”
American Woman premieres June 7 at 10 p.m. ET on Paramount Network. Watch EW’s exclusive making-of featurette above, and head here for the full series trailer.