Kelly Clarkson already brought fans to tears during the last season of American Idol, but the show’s inaugural winner performed a medley of her greatest tunes during the series finale on Thursday night, effectively shutting the book on the show that made her famous.
Beginning with 2003’s “Miss Independent,” Clarkson then ran into “Breakaway,” “Since U Been Gone,” and “Because of You,” a few bars from “Behind These Hazel Eyes,” “Walk Away,” “My Life Would Suck Without You,” “All I Ever Wanted,” “Stronger,” “Heartbeat Song,” “Invincible,” “Piece by Piece,” and finally, her 2002 debut single “A Moment Like This.” As soon as the tune was released following her Idol win 14 years ago, it shot to the top of the Billboard 100 and signaled the monstrous career Clarkson had before her.
Clarkson has performed on the show many times since that win but her most emotional performances came this year, during Idol’s final moments. Earlier this season she took the stage to sing “Piece By Piece,” off her most recent album by the same name. “It’s just a touching song for me,” said Clarkson at the time, “because I wrote it about my little girl when I was pregnant, and now I’m pregnant with my little boy.” Clarkson, the crowd, and even judge Keith Urban broke into tears while she sang.
See Clarkson’s final Idol performance below, and see all of EW’s finale coverage here.