Long live Team Kelly! Ever the gracious host, Kelly Clarkson brought in her former Voice pupil Corey Ward for an extra-special "Kellyoke" performance on the Feb. 16 episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show. The pair sang a soaring duet of "Falling Slowly," the Oscar-winning original song from the 2007 movie musical Once. At this point, it's undeniable: Kelly Clarkson can sing with anyone.
Ward kicked off the performance with soft acoustic guitar and plaintive vocals. Clarkson joined in for a climactic chorus, belting out an impassioned, "Falling slowly, sing your melody/ I'll sing along."
Falling Slowly...in love with this #Kellyoke duet with @_coreyward_! pic.twitter.com/8YbhXgrM8H
— The Kelly Clarkson Show (@KellyClarksonTV) February 16, 2023
Back in 2021, Ward made it to the Semifinal round of The Voice Season 20, nearly bringing home the gold for Team Kelly. (Team Blake's Cam Anthony would go on to win the season.) During his tenure on the NBC music competition series, Ward performed outstanding covers of Clarkson's "Already Gone" and the Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris."
After their moving duet, Clarkson interviewed Ward about his journey to the Voice stage and his new single "Close to Love." Ward revealed that his mother's cancer diagnosis led him to audition for the show, and that his family was in the audience to see him nab the coveted chair-turns.
Ward went on to thank Clarkson for giving him a shot on the show, holding back tears while expressing his gratitude for his former coach. "I connect with you a lot musically," Ward gushed, adding that his new single "Close to Love" is reminiscent of Clarkson's 2009 song "Already Gone."
Clarkson was similarly enthusiastic about Ward, saying that his unique vocal texture and emotional resonance was a rare moment of inspiration in her decades-spanning career.
"Sometimes we can get jaded," Clarkson said. "When you're in any industry for a certain amount of time, you start thinking you've heard everything. And then you're sitting there and you just hear something so magical that hits you. And that's beautiful. That's a gift."
Corey Ward's new single "Close to Love" is now available to stream on all music platforms.
READ MORE: New 'The Voice' Coach Niall Horan Shares Hilarious Blake Shelton Impression on 'The Kelly Clarkson Show'
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