Kelly Clarkson Covers Etta James’ ‘I’d Rather Go Blind,’ Completely Nails It

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What better way is there to pay tribute to the late, VERY GREAT Etta James than by singing one of her most famous songs at one of the world’s most famous venues? At her Radio City Music Hall show this past Saturday, Kelly Clarkson honored the singer, who passed away Friday after a lengthy battle with leukemia, by covering “I’d Rather Go Blind,” one of Etta’s most powerful and poignant songs.

Though Kelly Clarkson is primarily known for her pop-centric pipes, she brought out her raspy (and may I add, effing incredible) blues side in an homage to Etta’s signature jazzy style. As the bass line began with that familiar intro lick, the audience went wild as Kelly tackled those famous first lines: “Something told me it was over/When I saw you and her talking/Something deep down in my soul said cry, girl/When I saw you and that girl walking/I would rather, I would rather go blind, boy/Than to see you walk away from me, child.”

Unsurprisingly, Kelly completely nailed the song and solidified what we knew would be a fitting tribute to Ms. James. As we mourn her death, we’re endlessly thankful for the priceless catalog that Etta’s left behind. Kelly Clarkson’s probably pretty thankful to Etta, too — Kelly sang Etta’s timeless “At Last” for her “American Idol” audition and, well, we all know how that turned out.

+ Watch Kelly Clarkson cover Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind.”