Kelly Clarkson plays no games when it comes to delivering with a live performance, whether it’s her own song or one of the many covers we’ve come to look forward to during her tour. There’s no fake wind blowing through her hair, just honest and consistently impressive vocals that can and will shut down the stage. Reminding us that true vocalists can come from crowds of reality hopefuls, the petite powerhouse took an opportunity to show some respect for two of the incredible female artists who paved the way for her to giggle with Katy and John and schedule an introduction with Miguel on national television. Fresh off her Best Pop Vocal Album win (and fabulous acceptance speech) Kelly was backed by a restrained piano and single electric guitar during her tribute to Lifetime Achievement Award winners Patti Page and Carole King. Looking elegant in a long black gown, she moved seamlessly from “The Tennessee Waltz” to “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” blaring over the electric chords on that latter in a way that wasn’t excessive or boastful, but merely a demonstration of just what she can do. For this, we thank you, Kelly.
Although the Grammys are all about over-the-top, memorable performances, the pop songstress who’s already sung for President Obama–without lip-synching, thank you very much–doesn’t have to prove anything; it’s understood the girl has chops. Her performances offer comforting reassurance that all the hours we spend watching music competition shows may not be for naught. She’s the real deal even if she had to put up with Simon Cowell’s moody quips. It might seem ridiculous to think about now, but boy are we glad she did.
[Photo: Getty Images]