Piece by Piece

Album: Piece by Piece (2015)
Charted: 27
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  • This is the title track of Kelly Clarkson's seventh album. The songstress sings here of a girl whose father abandoned her family when she was young. When she later falls in love, the girl learns to trust, "that a man could be kind and a father could stay." Clarkson explained she named the record after this tune as, "It's the title of the most personal song on the album and all the songs are little pieces of me."
  • Clarkson's parents divorced when she was five years old. She previously referenced their split on her 2005 single "Because Of You" when the songstress sung of how she is scared to fall in love, as she fears going through the same pain her parents did.

    Now happily married to her manager Brandon Blackstock, Clarkson sings here of overcoming her fear of being abandoned by the one she loves. Speaking during the March 3, 2015 broadcast of On Air with Ryan Seacrest, she explained. "From my experience as a child, going through a couple marriages with my mom, I never had a man stick around. Whenever people said, 'I'm in love,' it didn't really hold very much weight or gravity with me."

    "I didn't realize how much that affected me as much as it did until I met Brandon and I fell in love," Clarkson added. "I was like, 'Wow, this is a completely different feeling.' I didn't know what I was missing. I wrote 'Piece by Piece' about a conversation I had with my sister about that."
  • Clarkson wrote this song with Greg Kurstin, the Californian producer who helmed the album. It is one of only three Piece by Piece tracks she penned for the set. Clarkson explained to BBC Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw that she usually writes, "a ton on the records, I didn't this time because I was miserably pregnant."

    She added: "It was actually quite cool because I got a lot of inspiration from all the writers that I knew or tweeted and talked to."
  • Kelly Clarkson likes to think of this tune as the happy ending to "Because Of You." "It's not the happiest story in the beginning, but it's a real one that I decided to write after a conversation with my sister," she explained. "So many of us had to grow up without parents to model a healthy relationship for us, so we often get into dysfunctional relationships because it is what is familiar. We end up settling instead of being with someone who is worthy of our hearts and our time. We all deserve to feel worthy of love. We all deserve to be truly loved."

    "This song is basically my past, present, and future," Clarkson continued. "It's my love letter celebrating and thanking my husband for being a man that knows how to love me and our children without expecting anything in return. Also, this is a promise to my kids that I will never cease to love them, and be present in their lives always."
  • The black-and-white video features joyful images of children, mothers and pregnant women. It ends with Clarkson holding her own baby daughter, River Rose, who leans in to give her mom a sweet kiss.
  • Kelly Clarkson's emotional performance of the song on the February 25, 2016 episode of American Idol was met with a standing ovation from the audience. She broke down in tears near the end of her rendition, and there was also waterworks from one of the judges, Keith Urban.
  • Speaking to Entertainment Weekly in a 2017 interview, Kelly Clarkson said this is the song of hers that fans stop and talk to her about the most.

    "Anywhere I go, that's the only song people mention," she explained. "Which says something about society because it's a very dark song. I'm always like, 'Thank you, and I'm sorry,' because it's not a particularly great song to relate to. But it's nice to know you're not alone."

    "I would have people come up to me and reveal things you don't even tell your spouse," Clarkson added. "Like, 'I cannot believe that chick or that dude just told me everything' - about being molested, about being raped. They feel like because I wrote that song and helped them, they're comfortable saying things you probably only tell a shrink."

Comments: 1

  • Holly from SeattleWhen I first heard this song it hit me like a ton of bricks. My parents divorced when I was 3 years old, and the few times I saw my father, he was angry and abusive during the times I would visit him. Eventually, around the age of 4, he stopped the visits completely and I saw him maybe 5 times in random passing the remainder of my childhood. The abandonment afterwards was probably the worst part. I remember feeling unworthy and punished like I was not good enough to be loved by him. "..and all of your words they fall flat, I made something of myself and now you want to come back. But your love it isn't free, it has to be earned. Back then I didn't have anything you needed so I was worthless.." Now I'm happily married to a good man who is a wonderful father to our daughter. I'm so thankful my daughter has a loving and doting father. I still grieve my own childhood, it makes me very sad for my father that he could not be that way with me. It is something I will never understand. Thank you Kelly Clarkson, for writing such heartfelt, honest, and raw lyrics that speak volumes to those of us who experienced a fatherless childhood.
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