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Kelly Clarkson: Leaning on Friends 'Really Helped Me' Amid Brandon Split

Let’s hear it for the girls. Kelly Clarkson bonded with The Chicks over their respective divorce experiences — and close female friendships were the musicians’ common thread.

The 40-year-old American Idol alum sat down with Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer during the Monday, June 6, episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show. While discussing how songwriting helped each of them work through their breakups, the Voice coach posed a candid question.

“So, we all went through divorces,” Clarkson began. “How did you each find strength? And not just music, I think it’s therapeutic. But, like, your female friendships? I feel like that has really helped me.”

Kelly Clarkson: Leaning on Friends 'Really Helped Me' Amid Brandon Split
Kelly Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock. CraSH/imageSPACE/Shutterstock; AFF-USA/Shutterstock

Maguire, 52, turned to Maines, 47, sharing a memory from working on a record amid their separations. Both members of the country trio have been married and divorced twice: Maguire to Ted Seidel from 1995 to 1999 and to Gareth Maguire from 2001 to 2013, and Maines to Michael Tarabay from 1997 to 1999 and Adrian Pasdar from 2000 to 2019.

“I remember when you first came down into the studio in Nashville and said, ‘Guys, I just want to tell you I’m getting a divorce,’” Martie recalled, as the Texas native interjected with a laugh, “Which time was this?”

Martie clarified that it was Maines’ first divorce, continuing, “I remember thinking, ‘Well, I’m getting a divorce. Now she says she’s getting a divorce. Now I can’t say I’m getting a divorce.’ … I was feeling like everybody was gonna judge me because I thought I was first.”

The Berklee College of Music alum chimed in, “So I was like, ‘Guys, I’m getting a divorce.’ And Martie’s like, ‘I’m having a horrible marriage!’ … We were divorce buddies.”

Us Weekly confirmed in June 2020 that Clarkson split from husband Brandon Blackstock after seven years of marriage. The pair share daughter River, 7, and son Remington, 6.

Shortly after filing for divorce, Clarkson was awarded primary custody of the pair’s two kids. “The level of conflict between the parents has increased. The parties have a difficult time coparenting due to issues of trust between them,” court docs obtained by Us in November 2020 read, noting that Blackstock would be able to FaceTime the little ones “at a mutually agreed upon time” each day.

The twosome reached a settlement in March after nearly two years. Clarkson agreed to pay $45,601 a month in child support until River and Remington turn 18, graduate high school or otherwise become self-supporting. She was also ordered to pay her ex-husband spousal support of $115,000 monthly until January 2024, in addition to a one-time, tax-free fee of $1,326,161. While Blackstock was allowed to live in the duo’s Montana property — over which they fought for months — he agreed to pay around $12,000 a month and cover all utilities until June.

Amid her messy split, Clarkson made another major life change. She requested to legally change her name to Kelly Brianne in February, arguing in court docs that going by her first and middle names “more fully reflects who I am.” The motion was granted one month later.

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