Kelly Clarkson Shares Backstory Behind Her Unique 'What A Girl Wants' Cover
By Hayden Brooks
April 16, 2021
On Thursday (April 15), Clarkson served up a powerful cover of Judith Hill's version of "What A Girl Wants" by Aguilera for her daytime talk show. During the two-minute rendition, The Voice judge offered big belting and smooth falsettos for the virtual and at-home audiences. As you know, the smash is one of Aguilera's signature hits, but Clarkson made sure to give credit where it was due.
"I actually saw Judith Hill perform that on TV on The Voice years ago and I was like, what a rad take on that song," Clarkson said via Instagram Stories. "So everybody keeps telling me, 'Oh my God, you did an amazing job with changing that song up,' and I do change songs up a lot and ... that's why I was attracted to this version that Judith Hill came up with."
Hill went on to reciprocate the love on her own account, reposting the video and writing, "Much love to Kelly Clarkson for her sweet spirit and incredible talent!!! Thanks Kelly for the shout out and sharing the love."
Earlier in the week, Billboard spoke to Alex Duda, the NBCUniversal-distributed series' executive producer, to break down Clarkson's ritual to perform a number at the top of every show. "We thought, 'Wouldn't it be fun if we open the show up with a different cover,' just like she already does? Because we were trying to incorporate different pieces of Kelly into the show," Duda explained. To date, Clarkson's 300-plus covers have racked up more than 35 million views on YouTube.
"When the show started, we knew creatively that we wanted to incorporate it," Jason Halbert, the show's musical director, as well as Clarkson's MD for 18 years, said of initially conceptualizing the idea. Meanwhile, Clarkson made sure to give Halbert props. "My career would not be what it is without Jason Halbert," Clarkson said of her collaborator. "We are really good partners. I feel like every artist needs to have their person that complements them and helps their career come to fruition and grow. Jason is definitely that for me."
Photo: Rachel Kaplan for iHeartRadio