Kelly Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock are calling it quits on their six-year marriage, which Clarkson has been remarkably candid about over the years.
The 38-year-old singer filed for divorce from 43-year-old Blackstock in Los Angeles on June 4, ET confirmed on Thursday. Clarkson was first linked to the talent manager -- who's the son of her former manager, Narvel Blackstock, and former stepson of Reba McEntire -- in 2012. Clarkson told Ryan Seacrest on his KIIS FM radio show in October of that year that it was pretty much love at first sight for her when they met.
"We met years ago when I was working with Rascal Flatts, and he used to tour manage with him," she shared. "I didn't really know he was [my manager's] son and it was kind of weird. I was like 'Dude, I gotta know that guy.' We were just in a room together, and then he came up and said he was from the same hometown as me and I was like, 'Oh, we're so getting married,' I was so that girl. When he became single, I was on the prowl."
During a November 2012 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, it was clear Clarkson was completely smitten with Blackstock, and she also talked about being single for so long.
"I am not alone for the first time for Thanksgiving and Christmas and I'm very happy," she emotionally shared about spending the holidays with him. "Seriously, I've been praying for so long and he's so great, so I get to spend it with someone."
"We are totally gonna get married, we love each other," she added, though the two were not yet engaged at the time.
When ET spoke to Clarkson in October 2017 at her Meaning of Life iHeartRadio Album Release Party in Los Angeles, she opened up about finding her dream "cowboy" in Blackstock, after years of dating the wrong men.
"I was single for a very, long time and it's hard when you're in the limelight [and] you're financially set and maybe they aren't -- it's just a lot of intimidation," she noted. "I'm a whole lot of person and I've dated people who are like, 'You're a lot,' and that's cool -- I am a lot but [I thought,] 'Somebody is going to love that someday and it's not you, so that's fine.'"
"I found a cowboy, a real man that can handle this," she continued.
Clarkson and Blackstock got engaged in December 2012. The original American Idol winner showed off her stunning yellow diamond engagement ring to her fans, writing, "I'M ENGAGED!!!!! I wanted y’all to know!! Happiest night of my life last night! I am so lucky and am with the greatest man ever."
The two tied the knot on Oct. 20, 2013 at Blackberry Farms in Tennessee, and Clarkson shared a gorgeous wedding video and photos with her fans.
"I'm officially Mrs. Blackstock :)" she gushed. "We got married yesterday at Blackberry Farms in TN, the most beautiful place ever!"
Another picture from our wedding :) pic.twitter.com/3YS2WjIpOD— Kelly Clarkson (@kellyclarkson) October 21, 2013
Since getting married, the two have expanded their family. Clarkson became a stepmom to Blackstock's two children from his previous marriage -- Savannah and Seth -- and they also welcomed their daughter, River Rose, in 2014, and their son, Remington, in 2016. Clarkson has said that her husband being a great father is the basis for her emotional song, "Piece by Piece," which also delves into her fractured relationship with her own father.
"Watching my husband love on his daughter all the time, you know, go to her events and just be there and, like, be present is, like, hard to watch but beautiful to watch," Clarkson said in a 2016 interview with Seacrest. "But it's awesome because I know that my kids are going to have that."
Still, Clarkson has stressed that despite her and Blackstock's incredible love for one another, they are still very much independent at the end of the day.
"Brandon is not my other half. He's a whole and I'm a whole," she told Redbook magazine in 2015. "I've never believed in someone taking care of me, and that's probably because I grew up poor and without a lot of family stability."
She also spoke to the magazine about their sex life.
"I always swore ours would not be a relationship where we have to schedule sex," she said. "That is never going to happen. We put each other first. I call it the oxygen-mask mentality -- take care of yourself first!"
Of course, Clarkson hasn't been shy about her intense physical attraction to Blackstock. During a private show for SiriusXM listeners at the Highline Ballroom in New York City in November 2017, she opened up about being "turned on" by him.
"This isn't a downer to anybody I dated before him, but I'm just going to be real: I never felt like, honesty, sexually attracted to anybody before him," Clarkson admitted. "And I'm not downing my exes. You know, everybody's different. But there was something about him."
"I honestly thought I was asexual -- I'd never been turned on like that in my whole life," she continued. "I was like, 'Oh that's that feeling… OK! That's what they were talking about in Waiting to Exhale. I just got it. I just didn't have a clue. ... It's a hard thing to find that feeling. I always tell [my stepdaughter, Savannah], 'Wait it out. Wait until you get those goosebumps.' Because if it’s not, it’s not worth it."
When ET spoke to her later that month, she said Blackstock still made her feel "so sexy."
"I already am a confident woman -- I don't think that's a secret," she said. "But I love being with somebody who is unafraid of making you feel sexy. I always make fun of him, like, 'Why are you touching my behind in public?' He'll like, goose me or something, somewhere, and I'm like, 'What are you doing?!' but I really like it."
She also said she felt completely content with their family.
"Once I turned 30, my shoulder relaxed," she shared at the time. "Everything was like, 'OK, we can't be all things to all people all the time.' We got four children. I think we're solid. We're a band."
However, she has acknowledged in the past that, at times, her and Blackstock's busy schedules got in the way of the two spending time with one another.
"We have forgotten two out of four of our anniversaries," she admitted to ET during our October 2017 interview with her. "But the great thing about us is we collectively do it. It's not like one of us forgets and one of us remembers. We both epically fail. We're always very busy. The only times we've remembered our anniversary is when we had [it] off. If we're working, we forget what day it is."
Fans got a glimpse into her and Blackstock's relationship when he made a surprise appearance during her Carpool Karaoke session with James Corden. Clarkson again acknowledged that it was a struggle to carve out one-on-one time with her husband.
"I think it's difficult because obviously I work a lot, and I'm a mom," she explained. "But we try."
Corden said that he felt like they needed "to reconnect somehow" and arranged a date night with Blackstock on the spot.
Last August, Clarkson chatted with ET on the set of her talk show about her and Blackstock having "different" personalities and the importance of making time for one another.
"My husband and I, we definitely try to make each other better and call each other out when we do shi**y things but... I think we do really well," she said at the time. "We're lucky. We're a blended family but we believe in the same kind of discipline for our children, we have very similar goals in life, as far as personally, what we want to accomplish. I mean, we're different, we work on that because we're two different worlds coming together but it's working. The best advice to give people is you’ve really got to -- and this is going to sound really weird but it's an intimacy vibe -- like, you've got to be intimate with each other regularly."
"You've got to make time for date nights, you've got to have that intimacy, that one-on-one, like, often and not, like, rare, you know?" she continued. "I think that’s probably the most helpful because even when Brandon and I start getting on each other's nerves then we're like, 'All right, I love you.'"
In December, Clarkson revealed that she and Blackstock still have a very healthy sex life. During an episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show, The Voice singer Brynn Cartelli asked her what she does before bed each night and Clarkson was as candid as ever.
"Well, Brynn, I was single for many years so," she replied with a laugh. "I have children, and how one makes children is generally what I do before bed -- that's not a lie."
As late as April, the two appeared more in love than ever. Clarkson tweeted that she bawled over a sweet birthday video Blackstock filmed for her.
"Happy birthday, baby," Blackstock says in the video. "I love you more than you'll ever know."
In May, Clarkson referred to Blackstock as her "partner in crime" during a press conference for The Voice, and shared how they were keeping extremely busy with their multiple projects despite being in quarantine amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"Oh, my husband is now a lighting technician and audio visual technician. He's a director, and he's also playing cowboy on our ranch," she said. "So no, he's got his hands full, we both definitely have our hands full, but you know, it's not just this job, it's the TV show, it's also making records, like, we also make records too, it's a lot of new things happening for us and trying to get it done. ... Brandon and I are hustling, definitely, around the ranch, trying to make it happen. And I 100 percent know none of this would be happening without my partner in crime."
But on Thursday, a source told ET that Clarkson and Blackstock have been struggling with their relationship for some time and that Clarkson wanted more kids and he didn't. Though Clarkson told ET in November 2017 that she and Blackstock were good with their four kids, she's appeared to have changed her mind. In May, she talked about having "baby fever" during chef Gordon Ramsay's appearance on her show.
"I so want another child, and my husband is like, 'No! We have four!'" she said as Ramsay showed off his 1-year-old son, Oscar.
Our source says of Clarkson and Blackstock's split, "The couple decided to call it quits after realizing the relationship hasn’t been working for a while. Kelly and Brandon work together nonstop and that became a contention in their relationship. Brandon is the EP of her show as well as her manager. Also, Kelly has always brought up wanting more children, which Brandon doesn't."
To see the couple in happier times, watch the video below: