Kelly Clarkson has been performing different cover songs in every city on her current tour, and Sunday night in Pittsburgh, she took on Rihanna's challenging vocal ballad “Stay” and crushed it.
“I love this song. I was so excited to sing it,” Clarkson said before beginning the track. YouTube videos posted by fans who attended the show reveal that Clarkson stood barefoot on the edge of the stage, surrounded by fans as she sang the piano-based number. She belted out the tune, tossing in falsetto runs and earning mid-song applause breaks.
Clarkson especially sounded great on the bridge, “Funny you're the broken one but I'm the only one who needed saving / Cause when you never see the light it's hard to know which one of us is caving.” The singer flaunted the powerful voice that helped make her the winner of "American Idol" all those years ago.
Originally recorded by Rihanna with Mikky Ekko, “Stay” reached No. 3 on the pop chart in 2013. Other artists have covered the song in the two years since, but none sounded as committed and emotionally involved as Clarkson did this weekend.
Clarkson recently told Entertainment Weekly, “We do a fan request every show, letting someone in the audience pick a song for us to cover. It’s a lot of fun for me and the band because the shows can become monotonous, and this keeps us on our toes.” Clarkson's other recent covers include Tori Kelly's “Nobody Love,” Nick Jonas' “Jealous,” Imagine Dragons' “Radioactive,” and Ellie Goulding's “Love Me Like You Do.”
If you're interested in hearing Kelly's voice at a venue near you, her Piece By Piece Tour heads to the Northeast this week, with stops in Darien Lake, New York; Uncasville, Connecticut; and Toronto. Clarkson assured EW she's playing all her big hits during the show. “New songs keep it fresh for us and for the audience, but we’re definitely doing all the hits people want to hear,” she said. Clarkson's latest album Piece By Piece has so far produced the singles "Heartbeat Song" and "Invincible."