This song, which is the only collaboration on the Piece By Piece album, features John Legend. Speaking with Nick Grimshaw on his BBC Radio 1 breakfast show, Clarkson said she had approached several other big names to record with her, but they always say no. "I honestly would collaborate with a lot of people, but everyone usually says no," explained the songstress. "I'm not kidding you. I have legitimately asked several people who I'm not going to call out. And that's cool, but I don't know."
'I got John Legend to say yes, so that's cool," Clarkson added. "I ask good people, I don't want to sing with crap people, so I ask people who are great vocalists, but I'm not going to point out anyone. I have asked several people, but sometimes I feel like I have the plague, or leprosy, they're like, if I get too close... I don't know.'"
Clarkson later clarified that she was only joking with her "plague" comment tweeting: "Obviously my humor is not translating ha!"
Legend and Clarkson previously worked together on the 2012 ABC singing competition show Duets
, which got cancelled after one season. The pair, along with Robin Thicke and Jennifer Nettles
, acted as mentors to the contestants.
The song is about a love so deep that it makes you bleed. It was originally recorded by German rock band Tokio Hotel on their 2014 album, Kings of Suburbia.
When Clarkson recorded the song she had no idea that there had been an earlier version. She had only heard a piano/vocal that one of the writers sent in 2013. The singer eventually found out from fans about Tokio Hotel's version three days after releasing hers. She told Spin magazine: "I was just talking to my assistant about it, like, 'Man, I gotta reach out to them about it!' I didn't cover them, because the only time I'd ever heard that song was from my publisher, who sent it to me and said, 'Hey, I have this demo with a piano and a vocal from David Jost,' one of the writers. That's the only way I knew it was the song. I didn't know it was already out there, so that was really fun finding out."
So how come Tokio Hotel's Bill Kaulitz and Tom Kaulitz were listed as co-songwriters on their version, but their names are not attached to Clarkson's recording? She explained that both songs are working from the same source material, rather than hers being a straight cover: "[The Kaulitzes] weren't included as writers of the song because I guess they didn't write it, according to publishers. Not trying to disrespect them," said Clarkson. "It's a bummer that I wasn't given all the information and that it looks like I'm ripping them off because I would never do that to any artist."
Kelly Clarkson told USA Today regarding her collaboration with John Legend: "The song is very raw and very tragic, in the sense that love can lift you up and make you feel like you're flying, and, at the same time, you can find a whole new level of low. John was the perfect vocalist for it, and I knew we blended well. A lot of people sing well, but a lot of people don't blend well. It's nice to find that person that matches up."
Clarkson originally recorded her vocals during the Maroon 5 tour she did in 2013. Speaking during an interview on the March 3, 2015 broadcast of On Air with Ryan Seacrest, she said. "I had already recorded my part, and then I had asked John to do it by the time we started actually doing the album … He recorded it while he was on the road and then I kind of recut my vocals again just to kind of match him on certain parts."