100 songs of the decade: Piece By Piece – Kelly Clarkson

 100 songs of the decade: Piece By Piece – Kelly Clarkson

Written by: Kelly Clarkson and Greg Kurstin
Produced by: Greg Kurstin
Album: Piece By Piece
UK release: February 2015
UK chart peak: 27

Kelly Clarkson‘s Piece By Piece was overshadowed by Invincible when it was released as a ~teaser track~ from the album of the same name in early 2015. When it became an official single at the end of that year with an electropoppy radio edit, again it barely registered.

In February 2016, a year after it was first heard, American Idol happened.

Heavily pregnant for the second time, Kelly performed a stripped-back, piano-only version and barely got through it. On the verge of tears for pretty much the entire duration, she had to pause numerous times; leaving Jennifer Lopez misty-eyed and Keith Urban… well Keith Urban was a fucking MESS.

The performance went viral, everyone was an emotional wreck, and the song was finally a hit – returning the Voice Of America to the Billboard Hot 100’s Top 10 for the first time in four years.

14 years into her career, the track gave her another big MOMENT, and rightly so. It’s a properly beautiful song, and one of her personal best: something of a sequel to Because Of You, it’s basically a comparison between her own father and the father of her children, and no bloody wonder it was tough to sing while pregnant. The album original, the single mix and the Idol piano re-do are all great; and proof that Kelly has very much Still Got It.

  • I’ll be writing about my favourite 100 pop songs of the decade; one a day for the last 100 days of 2019. They’re in no particular order, except the Top 10 – which will (obviously) come in late December.
  • See the full list so far here.
  • You can follow the rolling, daily-updated playlist here.

Shaun Kitchener


Scriptwriter for the theatre and TV (currently Hollyoaks) and freelance entertainment ~reportage.