Clarkson, 39, told the country superstar on her daytime talk show “The Kelly Clarkson Show” that she found comfort in his hit song from 1989 while coping with her divorce from talent manager Brandon Blackstock.
“I couldn’t quite nail down the feeling,” Clarkson said during her show. “I was, like, well, you don’t want to crap on it. Like, you don’t want to say that didn’t count or matter, but you don’t know what to put in it because it didn’t work out how you wanted and so, anyway, I kid you not, I was listening to my playlist and ‘The Dance’ came on and I was like, ‘No, that’s the thing. That’s it.’”
One of the songs in Clarkson’s upcoming ninth studio album will also reportedly feature the words “the dance” in it to honor Brooks.
“So, it’s not like your song, like a rip-off, but I literally wrote this whole thing, like therapeutically, for me. It’s actually on my next album and it’s the whole kind of come around, like the little tag part is like, ‘Even though my heart is broken, it was worth the dance, anyway,’” she told Brooks, singing the line that could be featured on her next album.
Brooks, 59, will be honored alongside Debbie Allen, Joan Baez, Dick Van Dyke and Midori at this year’s Kennedy Center. In addition to Clarkson, Derek Hough, Vanessa Hudgens, Pentatonix, Gladys Knight, Emmylou Harris, Jimmie Allen and Yo-Yo Ma will perform at the event.
The Kennedy Center Honors will air on June 6 at 8 p.m. on CBS. Watch Clarkson’s performance above.