Hidden meaning? Kelly Clarkson made fans do a double take during a recent episode of her “Kellyoke” segment on The Kelly Clarkson Show — changing the lyrics to seemingly reference her ex-husband, Brandon Blackstock.
The Voice coach, 39, covered Billie Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever” on September 30, but chose to tweak a few words that fans think made it a much more personal message to Blackstock, 44.
“I don’t relate to you / I don’t relate to you, no / ‘Cause I’d never treat me this s–tty / You made me hate this city,” Eilish, 19, sings on the original track.
During the show, Clarkson changed the last line from “You made me hate this city,” to “I get it, you hate this city.” She also opted to keep most of the song’s expletives in her performance and just had the channel bleep them out when it was broadcast.
Some fans pointed to the subtle change as a dig at Clarkson’s former spouse, whom she’s been battling in court amid their contentious divorce.
“The way Kelly Clarkson changed the lyrics of ‘Happier Than Ever,’ sang every line with intention, and sounded amazing,” one fan tweeted after hearing the rendition. “I know she was directing this at her ex. Legendary.”
The track’s original ending, “You ruined everything good / Always said you were misunderstood / Made all my moments your own / Just f–king leave me alone,” also seemed a little more personal as the musician belted it out.
Clarkson’s powerful cover came more than one year after Us Weekly confirmed in June 2020 that the talk show host filed for divorce from Blackstock after nearly seven years of marriage.
The twosome, who share daughter River, 7, and son Remington, 5, have since been involved in a messy court battle. Their divorce, however, is set to be finalized in January 2022.
The Texas native, who is now legally single, took a step forward with her life post-split in September when she finally sold the pair’s Encino, California, mansion for $8.5 million. Clarkson initially listed the house at $10 million in the summer of 2020.
The “Miss Independent” singer also sold her Nashville home for $6.3 million in recent months and bought a smaller house in Los Angeles for $5.4 million in June.
The former American Idol winner has been trying to get rid of her Montana property amid the divorce, but Blackstock has been dragging his feet as he currently resides there. Clarkson previously called the ranch a “financial burden” in court documents, but the talent agent testified that he wants to leave the entertainment industry and become a full-time rancher.
Clarkson won the ranch in the divorce, but Blackstock is still residing there and must continue to pay to maintain the property. According to court documents from August, if Blackstock fails to pay the $81,000 in maintenance costs each month, the musician can file another motion to sell.
As the divorce continues to make headlines, Clarkson has been promoting her upcoming album, When Christmas Comes Around, which features songs that seem to pay homage to her personal ups and downs over the past few years.
“A dose of your kind of lovin’/ I’ll let my absence show you what I got you for Christmas/ Is losing me/ Merry Christmas baby,” she sings on the “Merry Christmas Baby” track. She also released “Christmas Isn’t Canceled (Just You)” in September, which reveals a darker side of the holidays.