Getty Images | Shutterstock
Getty Images | Shutterstock

Kelly Clarkson's Dad Wanted Kids at His Side When on His Deathbed – Kelly 'Did Not Show up,’ Claims Brother

Olawale Ogunjimi
Mar 17, 2022
10:40 A.M.

Kelly Clarkson has inspired many through her songs, singing about her estranged dad, whom she claimed to have forgiven. However, she never honored his last wish to be at his death bed or attend his funeral.


Kelly Clarkson launched into stardom after becoming the first-ever American Idol winner. Since then, the award-winning singer has blessed many with her talent, including a soulful voice.

One of Clarkson's songs titled "Piece By Piece" was on her view on parenting and mainly on her relationship with her father.

Kelly Clarkson on "The Voice" Season 16. | Source: Getty Images

Kelly Clarkson on "The Voice" Season 16. | Source: Getty Images

While speaking on the song's contents, the singer admitted that she drew inspiration from the birth of her daughter, River. After seeing the newborn, Clarkson found it challenging to understand how her dad abandoned her as a child.

However, she became more grateful to her husband, Brandon Blackstock, for being a great dad to their two kids. The "Piece By Piece" singer's comments on the song read:


"I don't know what my father went through as a child, and I don't know why he left and made the decisions he made, but everyone's human. I don't understand it for me, but I understand the depth of what that is—having a child—now."

In the song, Clarkson juxtaposed the behaviors of a caring father willing to stay and one who turns away from family, both of which she has experienced.

Becoming a mother and having a supportive partner made the singer so strong that she could handle anything, whether life struggles or comments from critics.




Clarkson was the last of three siblings. She enjoyed a nuclear family with her mother, Jeanne Ann Taylor, a teacher and father, an engineer until age 6 when her parents' marriage ended.

Not much is known about the "American Idol" star's dad. Likewise, there is no clarity about his name: while some call him Stephen Michael, others refer to him as Michael. However, one profound truth is that he divorced Clarkson's mother, which led to their children living separately.

 Kelly Clarkson on the Kelly Clarkson Show - Episode 1113. | Getty Images

Kelly Clarkson on the Kelly Clarkson Show - Episode 1113. | Getty Images

The singer stayed with her mother, while her two older siblings stayed with their father and aunt. Clarkson's father remarried and had two other kids, but his relationship with Clarkson was never repaired following the split.


The divorce made Taylor work extra hard to sustain the family, leading them to move around a lot. Finally, they settled in Texas, where the divorcee found love and remarried.

Clarkson noted peculiarities from her childhood. When she was grown and became an established star, the singer decided to pour it all out in a few of her songs, including "Piece By Piece" and "Because of You."


Unlike the melancholy mood of the "Piece By Piece" song, "Because of You" settled on how a child could inherit some unpleasant traits from parents which could affect their marriage.

Thankfully, this family cycle was broken in this song, leading her to enjoy and appreciate her marriage. According to the singer:

"It's one of those songs that everybody's kind of gonna relate to, but you're not happy about that." It's very close to home [for me]."

Kelly Clarkson's Cautionary Christmas Music Tale. | Source: Getty Images

Kelly Clarkson's Cautionary Christmas Music Tale. | Source: Getty Images


Clarkson has been quite vocal about her father's absence. However, this did not deter the singer from trying to reunite with him.


She claimed to have reached out to the absentee father a few times but got humiliated due to his lack of response. After several trials, Clarkson gave up on the relationship.

Kelly Clarkson on The Voice - Season 16. | Source: Getty Images

Kelly Clarkson on The Voice - Season 16. | Source: Getty Images

The singer concluded that he was incapable of love, and she could not handle the continuous disappointments.

It did not mean that the "Because of You" crooner felt no emotion towards him. On the contrary, the award-winning artist confessed to being sad that her dad missed out on bonding with his kids and grandkids.



Despite not harboring any resentments towards her father, Clarkson did not visit Stephen Michael when he was on his deathbed, nor did she attend his funeral.

According to her stepbrother, Erik, his famous sibling, snubbed their dad even after death. He added that before dying in 2018, their father made his last wish to be surrounded by his offspring and asked for forgiveness. In his words:

"My father's last words were that he wanted all of his kids at his side, but Kelly didn't show up. I believe my dad wanted to explain to Kelly what happened with their relationship and that he was remorseful and wanted forgiveness."


Clarkson denied Erik's assertions through a rep, explaining that the family's patriarch's behavior was damaging and had left her with "major abandonment issues."

The singer, who confirmed that she stopped trying to keep in touch with her dad following the humiliation, added that she would not miss the relationship because they were never cordial. Clarkson said:

"I think if you don't grow up with it, it's hard to miss something you never had."


Irrespective of all that happened between the duo, Clarkson teared up while performing "Piece by Piece" on stage after his death. When asked why the "American Idol" star said:

"It's just that sense of loss that I just don't know if I'll ever not feel just because I'm a mom, I'm a mom of two kids that aren't even from my womb that I still couldn't imagine treating the way that I was."



Clarkson would never allow her busy schedule or career to get in the way of her love for her kids. She has affirmed her position as a caring and doting mom more than once.

However, while she is committed to being present for her kids, Clarkson is uncertain about her duties as a partner.


Following her recent divorce from Blackstock after seven years of marriage, she confessed to being less confident about the expectations in a relationship due to her father's abandonment.

"Because there's no bar. If you're not shown that bar at a young age, you don't know, partner-wise, what really to look for. And I thought I did... there's no [example] of how you should be treated, how a relationship should look like, all of that," she elaborated.


Clarkson is determined to maintain closeness with her kids and Blackstock's children from a previous marriage despite the estranged relationship between the former lovers.

After their marriage, the mother of two became close to her ex-husband's kids. She considers them her own and feels obliged to bond with the older kids.

For a fact, Clarkson's childhood wounds may have affected her view on relationships, but she is hellbent on breaking the family cycle by making conscious efforts and taking the proper steps.

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