Alexa, play “Breakaway.” No, play “Since U Been Gone.” Wait, play “Miss Independent.” Kelly Clarkson is filing for divorce from Brandon Blackstock, her husband of nearly seven years, according to Us Weekly and the Blast. The outlets obtained a June 4 filing from Clarkson in Los Angeles, where the couple had put their home up for sale in April. They moved from Nashville to L.A. the year before, when Clarkson began working on The Kelly Clarkson Show — although they’ve been quarantining on their ranch in Montana with their children. Clarkson and Blackstock have two kids together, 5-year-old River and 4-year-old Remington, while Blackstock has two children from a previous marriage.
Complicating matters, Blackstock is Clarkson’s manager, also working with her The Voice co-star Blake Shelton. They first met through Clarkson’s former manager Narvel Blackstock, who is Brandon’s father (and Reba McEntire’s ex-husband), at the 2006 Academy of Country Music Awards. Clarkson and Blackstock met once again at the 2012 Super Bowl, where she sang the National Anthem, and began dating shortly after. They were engaged by December 2012 and married in October 2013, with Blackstock taking over as her manager afterward. “I think it comes down to respect,” she told Marie Claire in 2018 of hiring Blackstock. “I wouldn’t have hired Brandon to be my manager if I didn’t see firsthand how great he is at that and how much he cares about Blake [Shelton].” She’s made multiple songs about their marriage, including the emotional “Piece by Piece” and the celebratory “Tie It Up.” But she’s made even more about overcoming things on her own. Alexa, play “Stronger.”
Update, June 12: A source has told Entertainment Tonight that the couple had been aware of problems in their marriage and hoped quarantining together away from L.A. would resolve their issues. “Instead the change in environment was actually detrimental,” the source said. “The constant time together seemed to make an already challenging situation worse.” Having more time during quarantine also pushed Clarkson to make the decision. “This recent downtime gave her the time she needed to think about her life and her marriage,” the source said, and Clarkson eventually “realized divorce was her only option.” ET also had more on the legal details of the divorce filing, which cites irreconcilable differences. Clarkson had a prenup with Blackstock — she’s “a very organized businesswoman,” said the source — and is asking for joint custody of their two children, along with no spousal support given to Blackstock. Also, she wants to change her legal last name back to Clarkson, after taking Blackstock when they married. Miss Independent, indeed.