Kelly Clarkson is still pop's sassy "Miss Independent," but these days, she's a bit more willing to ask for help. Clarkson's uplifting new single "Catch My Breath" not only pays homage to her strong-willed musical persona, but also to the people who have helped her grow into the woman she is today.
Clarkson's voice soars over a midtempo beat, keyboard and bright synths. She opens the track by sharing who she was in the past, singing, "I don't wanna be left behind/ Distance was a friend of mine/ Catching breath in a web of lies/ I've spent most of my life/ Riding waves, playing acrobat/ Shadowboxing the other half/ Learning how to react."
By the time the chorus comes in, the music opens up, and Clarkson reveals her new life mantra: "Catching my breath, letting it go, turning my cheek for the sake of this show/ Now that you know, this is my life, I won't be told what's supposed to be right/ Catch my breath, no one can hold me back, I ain't got time for that/ Catch my breath, won't let them get me down, it's all so simple now."
While Clarkson has clocked plenty of songs about the perils of love over the course of her career, her romance on this single is more positive than in the past. "Addicted to the love I found/ Heavy heart, now a weightless cloud/ Making time for the ones that count/ I'll spend the rest of my time/ Laughing hard with the windows down/ Leaving footprints all over town/ Keeping faith kinda comes around," she sings.
After Clarkson premiered the song on Ryan Seacrest's radio show, she told her old "American Idol" buddy what inspired the song, including her relationship with her manager's son, Brandon Blackstock (who also happens to be Reba McEntire's stepson). "It's kind of weird. A lot of stuff in my personal life, it kind of all came together this past December, and I kind of worked a bunch of stuff out. It felt easy and natural," she said. "I'm completely head over heels. We are taking it slow," she added when asked if she's going to get married anytime soon.
"It represents who I've been," she added of "Catch My Breath," "what I've felt, and where I'm headed as not only an artist, but as a 30-year-old that is now smart enough to know that it's time to stop, catch my breath, and be proud of not only what has been accomplished, but of all the people that have helped me become the woman I am today."
The track is the lead single from Clarkson's upcoming greatest-hits collection, Greatest Hits - Chapter 1, which drops November 19. In addition to pulling from her catalog of hits, Kelly will also have two more brand-new tunes on the album. Additional information about what songs made the cut has yet to be released.
So what was Clarkson's initial reaction when her label wanted to put out a greatest-hits album? "I was like, 'Really? I'm 30!' " she told Seacrest. "I feel like that's something you do when ... you don't have anything else to put out. So, yeah, but I'm 30, so that's weird."
She was not only floored by her accomplishments at such a young age, but also by the fact that it's been a decade since she appeared on and won "American Idol." She teased the show's host, "Can you believe 10 years ago we were both on the same show?"