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Best Kellyoke Songs on ‘The Kelly Clarkson Show’, Ranked: 29 of Her Must-See Covers!

From the second a young, 20-year-old Kelly Clarkson auditioned for American Idol in 2002 with covers of “At Last” and Madonna’s “Express Yourself,” we all knew she was “a game-changer,” as Paula Abdul put it on The Kelly Clarkson Show in 2019. And one ingredient of the secret sauce that’s made the artist’s daytime gabfest a big success has been the awesome covers she does as part of the Kelly Clarkson “Kellyoke” songs segment.

“I came into the industry covering songs,” Clarkson told Entertainment Tonight about her talent for taking a known tune and making it her own. “And a lot of my favorite artists like Frank Sinatra, or Ella [Fitzgerald], or Aretha Franklin, like, all those artists would cover songs that everybody else would cover too. I think it’s cool to put your spin on it, and I also think it’s cool just to be able to have a place where you could hear [a wide range of songs].”

Kelly Clarkson performing ; Kellyoke Songs
Kelly Clarkson performing (2023)Getty

A longtime lover of every musical genre under the sun, Clarkson doesn’t shy away from tackling them all … even Kelly Clarkson Kellyoke Songs results are questionable.

“Sometimes it works out” and sometimes not, she admits with a laugh. “[But] it’s not always about me. Ego aside, sometimes you cover songs and you’re like, ‘OK, maybe I shouldn’t have done that. I shouldn’t have rapped.’ But I want to be inclusive.”

Of course, the usual result is that she knocks everything out of the park, like when she covered Cher’s holiday tune “DJ Play a Christmas Song.” And if you don’t “Believe” us, just ask, well, Cher. “KELLY,,,,U ACED IT.… I AM OUT OF MY MIND OVER UR VERSION..THE MODULATION GAVE ME …I DONT KNOW, I JUST LOST MY MIND!! SISTER U GOT IT,” the pop legend posted on X after she saw Clarkson’s version.

Kelly Clarkson smiling ; Kellyoke songs
Kelly Clarkson (2023)Getty

The exciting aspect of the Kelly Clarkson Show Kellyoke songs segment is that the possibilities are endless. The singer was even pitched a song by a New Zealand artist while doing a satellite interview with a news program down there. “Hey, I’m taking requests because there’s 180 [Kellyokes] every TV season,” she joked, being sure to take down the name of the artist [Bic Runga] and song [“Sway”] for consideration.

We’ll keep our ears out to see if “Sway” swings itself into the Kelly Clarkson Kellyoke songs rotation. Until then, let’s replay some of our favorite Kellyokes from the past four years.

29. “If I Could Turn Back Time”: Kelly Clarkson Kellyoke Songs

It’s no secret Clarkson is a huge Cher fan, so it’s no surprise she was beaming ear to ear through most of the icon’s 1989 hit when she covered it. She also literally stayed covered, opting not to sport the Oscar winner’s sexy peekaboo catsuit from her memorable Navy battleship-set video.

28. “It’s Raining Men”

Clarkson brilliantly storms her way through this legendary Hi-NRG track that was co-written, believe it or not, by David Letterman’s bandleader Paul Shaffer, and sung by Weather Girls Martha Wash and Izora Armstead. And according to all sources, Clarkson made it rain in the best possible way!

27. “Lucky Star”

Starlight, star bright! The Material Girl’s songs are notoriously hard to cover, as they’re so closely entwined with Madonna’s unique persona. Clarkson wisely gives the icon’s early dance track a slightly edgier, rock vibe, and the result is out of this world.

26. “A Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel Like)”

This Aretha Franklin hit by songwriters Carole King and Gerry Goffin is, well, a natural fit for Clarkson. The artist actually sang this during her triumphant American Idol run, back when the then-young woman was still fresh out of her teenage years. How far she’s come!

25. “I Love Rock N Roll”: Kelly Clarkson Kellyoke Songs

We’d put a dozen more dimes in the jukebox, baby, if Clarkson promised to cover this song repeatedly. This Joan Jett and the Blackhearts rock anthem is a perfect fit for Clarkson, who had the crowd on their feet and singing along on this one.

24. “Kiss”: Kelly Clarkson Kellyoke Songs

“Just leave it all up to me, I’m gonna show you what it’s all about,” Clarkson sings as she covers this monster hit from Prince himself, adding a groovy, funky vibe to the classic, as well as some impressively gravelly riffs into the mix, too.

23. “Just a Girl”

Clarkson pays homage to her sometimes Voice fellow coach Gwen Stefani on this cover of the rocker’s early hit with her former band No Doubt. The host puts a unique spin on the arrangement, slowing it down and making it darker and more dramatic, which allows the playful irony of the pointed lyrics to hit a little deeper.

22. “Believe Me Baby I Lied” by Trisha Yearwood

It’s hard to pull off a duet via Zoom but that’s just what Clarkson and country superstar Trisha Yearwood did during COVID lockdown on this incredible cover of the latter’s 1996 hit. The way the pair are clearly starstruck by each other’s talents is refreshing, and it’s just a ton of fun to watch. “I’m so blessed to sing with you,” Clarkson gushes at the end to her guest.

21. “Rolling in the Deep”: Kelly Clarkson Kellyoke Songs

Adele’s been vocal about the fact she’s not super fond of other artists covering her tunes — “I’m not the best singer in the world at all, but no one else can sing my songs like me because they didn’t write them. No one can sing my songs like me, period,” she told The Hollywood Reporter — but we can’t imagine she’s too mad about this one (or the others Clarkson has interpreted).

20. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”

“Don’tcha wanna dance?” Hell, yes! This is an upbeat Kelly Clarkson Show Kellyoke that allows the talk show host to move around and have some fun, grooving and singing as she works the audience. Oh, to have had the chance for a Kelly Clarkson-Whitney Houston collaboration before the original artist’s tragic passing.

19. “Alone”

Ann Wilson’s voice is one of the most revered in the rock game (seriously, check out Heart’s chills-inspiring “Stairway to Heaven” performance from when Led Zeppelin received their Kennedy Center Honors), so Clarkson had some big knee-high boots to fill here. Spoiler alert: She more than delivers, and the result is heavenly.

18. “I Wanna Get Better”

It’s hard to imagine Clarkson getting any better than she was on this fun 2014 Bleachers tune. She rocks out as hard as Jack Antonoff and his band from New Jersey does, and fans have been clamoring for an Antonoff-Clarkson collab ever since.

17. “Piece of My Heart”: Kelly Clarkson Kellyoke Songs

A Janis Joplin biopic has been rumored for years, and Clarkson — a fellow Texan — proves she could easily nail the role, as well as the 60s star’s power, grit and spirit. “You know you’ve got it if it makes you feel good,” as the song goes, and this Kellyoke installment most certainly has it.

16. “Trouble Blues”

The versatile singer has no trouble honoring the great Sam Cooke with this soulful take on the artist’s 1963 version. Her voice deftly tackles the riffs throughout, turning “Trouble Blues” into a red-hot stunner.

15. “Don’t Stop Believin’”

This Kelly Clarkson Show Kellyoke segment honors this Journey gem, one of the biggest and best karaoke songs there is. And we’re definitely believin’ the soprano’s take on the song, which was used so famously in The Sopranos final moments, is one of the most killer versions you’ll hear.

14. “Eternal Flame”: Kelly Clarkson Kellyoke Songs

“Am I only dreaming?” Or is this stripped-down, intimate version of The Bangles song not sublime? It borders on sounding like a modern lullaby, and even without the band’s trademark harmonies this version ignites a lot of emotion.

13. “She Used to Be Mine”

Modern dancers in costumes from Waitress the musical add an impressive Broadway element to Clarkson’s performance of this absolutely gorgeous and moving Sara Bareilles song. Encore, encore!

12. “Seven Nation Army”: Kelly Clarkson Kellyoke Songs

The singer went big on this White Stripes track, calling in the spirited USC Trojan Marching Band for backup. “I’m gonna fight ’em off, a seven nation army couldn’t hold me back,” she croons, and it’s clear nothing could stop her from crushing this cover.

11. “Bad Romance”

Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters surely devoured this playful take on the pop diva’s dance hit from 2008. Clarkson lets loose on her vocals, and the fun she was clearly having as she confidently struts through the dancing audience is contagious.

10. “9 to 5”: Kelly Clarkson Kellyoke Songs

Bonus points on this one for having(surprise!) Dolly Parton herself come out and duet on her huge crossover hit. There was also a Kelly Clarkson Show Kellyoke version of “Jolene” that Kelly crushed, but the energy and dynamic that the host shares with the living legend of country makes this “9 to 5” collaboration an absolute 10!

9. “Dream On”

The key change Clarkson delivers as she absolutely belts out the “dream ons” in the middle of of this Aerosmith classic’s chorus is unreal. Other singers can only dream about being able to pull that off, but she seems to do it was ease.

8. “Never Too Much”

She does sad songs so well that it’s sometimes easy to forget that Clarkson can groove and shine on happy ones as well. “I just don’t wanna stop” listening to her smooth cover of this Luther Vandross gem that was his very first single off his debut 1981 album.

7. “Desperado”

Clarkson’s voice quietly soars on this Eagles classic from 1973, which Linda Ronstadt also recorded. Don Henley called Ronstadt’s version “poignant and beautiful,” and Clarkson took a big swing trying to match that but she safely brings it in for a stunning landing.

6. “California Dreamin’”

This Kelly Clarkson Show Kellyoke is perfect to revisit “on a winter’s day,” as the weather in most of the country has us all longing to be “safe and warm,” as The Mamas and the Papas song goes. Alone, without the group’s harmonies from the original track, Clarkson still manages to come through with a dreamy and divine interpretation.

5. “Dancing Queen”

This dialed back, intimate take on ABBA’s 70s disco megahit was Swede perfection. Clarkson’s gorgeous vocals are front and center, with just a piano for accompaniment. Taking it from banger to ballad was unexpected, but the result was money, money, money, as Agnetha, Anni-Frid, Benny and Björn might say.

4. “Happier Than Ever”: Kelly Clarkson Kellyoke Songs

Even though a few expletives had to be bleeped, Clarkson still saw to it that this version of Billie Eilish’s song dripped with 100% of its passion, anger, frustration and eff-you attitude, especially in the build-up to its final goosebump-raising plea.

3. “Pride”

To honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day this Jan. 15, the singer tackled U2’s “Pride,” which speaks of the civil rights leader’s life and legacy. Not surprisingly, Clarkson did Bono and his bandmates — and more importantly, Dr. King — proud with her rousing and reverential rendition.

2. “It’s Quiet Uptown”

This song from the musical Hamilton took on an eerie but somehow comforting new meaning when Clarkson sang it in 2020, during COVID’s peak. “There is suffering too terrible to name. You hold your child as tight as you can,” Clarkson sings of what seemed like everyone’s fears at the time, ending with a visibly emotional sigh upon her final line: “They are going through the unimaginable.”

1. “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”: Kelly Clarkson Kellyoke Songs

“This is the greatest version of this song you are ever going to hear, and I had to have him on to sing it,” Kelly announced before she and Billy Porter, the Kinky Boots Tony winner and Pose star, delivered his jaw-dropping gospel-tinged version of her 2012 hit that will both stir and save your soul.

For more on music, keep reading below!

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