Brooks told Entertainment Tonight on Wednesday that he was happy his music could help her during a difficult time. “The fact that she says it as a fan makes you feel as an artist like, ‘Hey, maybe you’re down here doing what you’re supposed to be doing down here,'” he said.
On Monday, the country legend, 58, appeared on Clarkson’s talk show. She said that she’s been feeling “shame and guilt” for her marriage ending, especially as people send books and such to help her cope.
“I was just kind of working through it and I couldn’t quite nail down the feeling,” she said, adding that she doesn’t want to “crap on” her marriage. “You don’t want to say, ‘That didn’t count or matter,’ but you don’t know what to put in it because it didn’t work out how you wanted.”
By chance, she stumbled upon a song by Brooks, a fellow divorcee, which helped her grasp what she was feeling.
“I kid you not, I was listening to my playlist, and ‘The Dance’ came on, and I was like, ‘No, that’s the thing, that’s it,'” shared the “Since U Been Gone” singer. “So I literally – it’s not like your song, like a rip-off – I literally wrote this whole thing, therapeutically for me and it’s actually on my next album …”
Clarkson even sang the hook of the song: “Even though my heart is broken / it was worth the dance anyway.”
The pop star said that she had sung “The Dance” “from childhood” but the connection between the tune and her life “never hit” her until hearing it again.
“That’s a great song right there,” Brooks reacted. “That’s a [characteristic] of a great song.”
The talk show host said that she was “bawling” when she took solace in the song.
“It is true, I think a lot of people that go through [divorce], there’s a lot of grief and a lot of loss and a lot of change, especially with kids,” Clarkson continued. “So, it was one of those things – all the books were helpful, but it’s so funny, I guess because I’m a musician, but I’m listening in my room and I’m [crying] … I got the point.”
She added: “I think sometimes that’s so crazy. You don’t know that’s going to happen. You’ve known this song your entire life and you freak out when it actually has a direct impact.”
“The Dance” was released in 1990 and is still considered one of Brooks’ signature hits.
Fox News’ Nate Day contributed to this report.