Kelly Clarkson proved her vocal prowess once again on the stage of American Idol where she was crowned the first champ as the surprise summer hit would eventually peak at 38 million viewers. Simon Cowell once told Howard Stern that Clarkson was by far the most self-assured, “ruthless” contestant in history, having fired the entire management team assigned by Idol almost immediately after her win. In fact, Clarkson often distanced herself from the show. But that all changed last night on the Idol stage when she sang “Piece by Piece” through tears. Though Clarkson often keeps her personal life close to the vest, the lyrics are telling, and the singer has said that as a child of divorce she “never had a man stick around and “whenever people said, ‘I’m in love,’ it didn’t really hold very much weight or gravity with [her].” Clarkson said the song is a “love letter celebrating and thanking [her] husband for being a man that knows how to love [her] and [their] children without expecting anything in return.” Clarkson is married to Brandon Blackstock who she met through Reba McEntire. Reba was married to Blackstock’s father for over two decades before calling it quits amidst the 2015 wave of celebrity divorces. Because Clarkson was pregnant with her first child while creating her album, she was unable to write most of the tracks, with the exception of “Piece by Piece” and a few others. Watch her very moving performance below. The song hit #1 shortly after her performance, further illustrating Clarkson’s ability to move a room.