Every day on her daytime talk show, American Idol champ, The Voice coach, and person-we-want-to-be-our-friend Kelly Clarkson performs a cover song, something she’s been doing for years at her concerts.
From Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” and Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” in her debut week to fellow AI winner Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats,” Christina Aguilera’s “Ain’t No Other Man,” Shawn Mendes’ “If I Can’t Have You,” Heart’s “Alone,” and more in the episodes since, the “Kellyoke” segment of her show has become a reliable source of entertainment.
And because we’re reliable viewers, we compiled a list of songs we’d love to hear the Grammy winner tackle.
“7 rings,” Ariana Grande
The fun part of “Kellyoke” is the wildly expansive range of songs Clarkson proves she can cover. She’s done rap, country, folk, rock, soul, and more in the month that she’s been on the air. This is why it would be fun seeing her do Ariana Grande’s most recent #1 hit, a song that puts Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic Broadway melody over a trap beat, the exact type of juxtaposition Clarkson knows how to jump on and nail. Plus, we already know she’s a fan of the song based on how she sang along and got up and twerked to a contestant performing it during the Blind Auditions on The Voice. —Marcus Jones
“Dancing in the Dark,” Bruce Springsteen
You can’t start a fire without a spark – and Clarkson has the vocal bravado to light the spark necessary for Bruce Springsteen’s sexy ode to “Dancing in the Dark.” Clarkson consistently delivers upbeat bangers and power ballads, starting her show with a jolt of energy. The pulsing ‘80s beat of this track about the relief of dancing it out (and, ahem, other things) is the ideal vibe for such a moment. It’s a wake-up call and a burst of energy for anyone feeling a little restless. Not to mention, we’re just dying to hear Clarkson’s stellar rock vocals cover The Boss. —Maureen Lee Lenker
“It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” Celine Dion
It’s hard to find a voice better at power ballads than Celine Dion, but KC could bring some exciting soul to this already epic track originally recorded by Pandora’s Box. Just imagine her entering to that iconic piano intro before the number crescendos with that “baby, baby, baby…” as she heads into the final chorus. Chills. I already have chills. —Patrick Gomez
“Heart Attack,” Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato knows how to put out a banger, but imagine this song with Kelly’s vocal gymnastic abilities. I can just hear her infusing the chorus’ “heart at-a-a-a-a-ack”s with some unexpected energy. Kelly’s known for her killer bridges — and the bridge of “Heart Attack” gives her a lot to work with. I mean, “I’m flying too close to the sun/and I burst into fla-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-ames.” Don’t tell me you don’t want to hear her wail on that. (And yes, I did count out those syllables just for you, dear reader.) —PG
“Piece of My Heart,” Janis Joplin
One of the best live covers I’ve ever seen was on the Grammys in 2005 when Melissa Etheridge, fresh off of her cancer treatments, went on stage with her guitar in hand and belted a version of “Piece of My Heart” that would’ve made Janis Joplin proud. Back when people actually bought singles, the performance audio was one of the first things I purchased on iTunes. Clarkson, with the spirited, fiery growl she employs in many of her “Kellyoke” performances, is probably the only artist right now capable of matching Etheridge and Joplin’s renditions. —MJ
“Good as Hell,” Lizzo
Few artists make me smile as much as Kelly, and Lizzo is one of them. With their DGAF attitudes about everything from outdated beauty standards to their impressive vocal talents, both effervescent artists are stars cut from similar cloths. So what better way for Kelly to celebrate 2019’s new music queen than covering her feel-great anthem “Good as Hell”? Do that hair toss and check your nails, Kelly. —PG
“Somebody to Love,” Queen
There’s no denying that Clarkson is a “killer queen” at shredding live vocals. Just like Queen’s Freddie Mercury, Clarkson’s range is vast, which lends well to this song’s lower-sung verses and belted chorus and bridge. Just imagine the fullness and reverence of Clarkson’s chest voice when singing “But everybody wants to put me down, they say I’m going crazy!” Well, if anyone is going to go crazy, it’s going to be the Kelly Clarkson Show’s audience for this cover! —Kristin Vartan
My argument starts with Seth Meyers. What do Seth and Kelly Clarkson have in common? Obviously, they’re both talk show hosts. Check. They both enjoy a little day drinking. Check. What else? They both can’t get enough of Rihanna (who also doesn’t mind getting a little tipsy for late-night). Kelly’s already done at least FIVE Rihanna covers before, including “We Found Love” “Stay,””Princess of China,” “Love On the Brain,” and “Better Have My Money.” If Kelly is already halfway to a RiRi cover album, who are we to stop her? Bonus points if she does the Jay-Z rap, and she CAN rap. —Omar Sanchez
“I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” Whitney Houston
Don’tcha wanna dance, say you wanna dance, don’tcha wanna dance… while watching daytime TV? If you want a singer who’ll take a chance on a Whitney Houston classic, Clarkson is the person. While most of the top-ranked songs in Houston’s catalog are ballads — “I Will Always Love You,” “I Have Nothing,” “The Greatest Love of All” — “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” is the lively, uptempo classic that has, like many of Houston’s songs, stood the test of time. With Clarkson’s killer pipes and soulful edge, this is one we’d get out of our seats to dance (dance!) along to. —Gerrad Hall
“Wild Wild West,” Will Smith ft. Dru Hill, Kool Mo Dee
I know who I’m going to call to go straight to the Wild Wild West. I mean, Kelly Clarkson, wearing a cowboy hat, singing Sisqó chorus — what else do I need to say? —Derek Lawrence