Pregnant Kelly Clarkson broke down in tears as she made an emotional final return to American Idol. The 33-year-old singer took to the stage to sing Piece By Piece, which was written both about her absent father and as a tribute to her own husband, and was overcome with emotion as she performed on the show that launched her career.
Her deeply moving rendition also touched judges Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez, who listened with tears in their eyes as Kelly struggled to finish the song.
Kelly Clarkson was overcome with emotion during her American Idol performance
Afterwards, as the crowd chanted her name, Kelly apologised for crying. "I'm pregnant, it's nostalgic. I can't believe it's the last season," she told host Ryan Seacrest. "I am really sorry, I just bawled. I am actually quite proud I made it that far.
"It's such a touching song for me as I wrote it while I was pregnant with my little girl, and now I'm pregnant with my little boy, who I hope comes out very soon!" said the star, who also acted as a guest judge on the night.
It was announced in May that this season of American Idol – the 15th – would be its last. Kelly famously won the first ever series of the show back in 2001, and her performance was a fitting farewell to the singing competition.
The star is now counting down the days until she welcomes her baby boy, her second child with husband Brandon Blackstock. Kelly announced her pregnancy in August during a concert in LA, and revealed in October that she was expecting a son.
Kelly and Brandon, who have been married since October 2013, are also the proud parents of daughter River Rose, and Kelly is a stepmother to Brandon's son and daughter from his previous marriage.