Kelly Clarkson took country music fans to Neverland and back on Wednesday, May 11, with a remarkable rendition of Kelsea Ballerini’s 2015 hit “Peter Pan” during “The Kelly Clarkson Show.”
While the Grammy Award-winner and talk show host typically opens her show on a high note, she decided to bring it down a notch and commence with a tear-jerking ballad. The singer-songwriter called in her music director Jason Halbert to accompany her on the piano.
Dressed in a floral floor-length ensemble as flowy as Wendy’s nightgown, the powerful songstress sang about a boy who she believes will never grow up.
“Always gonna fly away, just because you know you can | Never gonna learn there’s no such place as Neverland | You don’t understand | You’ll never grow up | You’re never gonna be a man | Peter Pan,” she effortlessly delivered while sending a chill down listeners spines.
“Peter Pan” served as Ballerini’s third single from her debut record, “The Frist Time.” The mid-tempo melody was the pixie dust she needed to send her straight to stardom.
The relatable single scored Ballerini her first No.1 on the Hot Country Songs chart. The title graced the top of Billboard’s Country Airplay chart as well. The young vocalist became the first female in country music to ever peak three consecutive times at No.1 with material from a debut LP.
Ballerini’s version of “Peter Pan” has several twists and turns, as her soaring vocals are backed by up-tempo instrumentals. Her wide range is evident within the dream-like single, giving the genre a fair warning that she was ready to become a country mainstay.
On the other hand, Clarkson stripped down the single completely and ditched the heavy drums and guitars. However, she sprinkled some Clarkson spice towards the end of the emotional-driven cover with a jaw-dropping Crescendo.
Not only did the “Kellyoke” performance receive a standing ovation from the live audience, but it made waves on social media.
“I just discovered something. Kelly is not covering those songs. She lives them and experiences them while she sings😍,” a YouTube user pointed out. “I feel this song so strongly. I can’t help but cry. We’ve all had our own Peter Pan’s in our lives,” another one shared.
The crossover artist has wowed her viewers with various country covers. Clarkson has tackled Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” “Rich” by Maren Morris,” Kacey Musgraves’ “High Horse,” “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” by Brooks & Dunn, and “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton.
Following her fan-favorite segment, the multi-platinum artist invited stars Michelle Pfeiffer and Dakota Fanning from SHOWTIME’s new series, “The First Lady” to the stage. The mid-week episode was topped off with a show-stopping performance of “Jessie’s Girl” from Rick Springfield.
The multifaceted musician recently scored nine Emmy Award nominations for her daytime talk show and wrapped up her gig with NBC’s “American Song Contest.”