Kelly Clarkson performs on "The Kelly Clarkson Show"
Weiss Eubanks/ NBC Universal

Kelly Clarkson Fans are Stunned by Her Twangy Take on a Classic '90s Ballad


As we learned through her introduction to the public eye on American Idol, Kelly Clarkson's among pop music's most masterful interpreters of classic and contemporary songs. The Kelly Clarkson Show's Kellyoke segment drives this home further, whether the show's namesake is covering her country music pals' hits (Blake Shelton's "Honey Bee") or decade-specific throwbacks from other genres (Destiny Child's "Survivor"). A diamond from the moment when indie-pop went big time, Mazzy Star's "Fade Into You" became a textbook example of Clarkson's vocal versatility on Feb. 22 when she and her band added some blues allure to what's become a wedding playlist staple.

"Fade Into You" appeared on Mazzy Star's 1993 album So Tonight That I Might See and got released the following year as a single. The love ballad's dream-pop vibes fit the moment for both alternative radio and pop music in general, reaching No. 19 on the mainstream Top 40. Nowadays, Mexican American singer Hope Sandoval's atmospheric delivery plus lush piano and acoustic guitar accompaniment could find a following in the Americana space. Sandoval wrote the lyrics, and band founder, guitarist and producer David Roback composed the music.

Clarkson's rendition cranks the volume on Sandoval's tranquil vocals up more than a notch without disrupting the song's reserved tone. Likewise, her backing band mostly stays true to the original while playing up their boss' undeniable strengths.


"This was masterful," wrote YouTube commenter Dionne Brooks. "So subtle and beautiful with one or two moments of unleashed power. I love how Kelly doesn't need to do a powerhouse vocal on everything. She is equally good at the quiet moments. Beautiful."

Per some YouTube sleuthing, Clarkson covered the song in 2012 during her Stronger Tour.

The nostalgic cover came at a busy time for Clarkson. She'll return to her seat on The Voice on March 6, which will rekindle her friendly and hilarious rivalry with Shelton.

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