“Drivers License” debuted on January 8, 2021, and the song was the first of Rodrigo’s to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching number one. The teen sensation later saw the song performed in a skit on “Saturday Night Live” on her 18th birthday, much to her delight. She was later a musical guest on “Saturday Night Live,” where she performed the song herself.
Clarkson, who hosts a “Kellyoke” segment on her daytime TV talk show “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” covered the song and released the video on June 14, 2021.
Watch Clarkson Cover “Drivers License”
Clarkson took center stage in a checkered dress and black heeled boots to perform Rodrigo’s hit song. The stage started out dark before a spotlight highlighted Clarkson.
She stayed generally faithful to the original version of the song, adding some signature big notes during the bridge and chorus before getting quiet for the line “’cause you said forever/now I drive alone past your street.”
At around the one-minute mark, Clarkson belts out a huge note. She finished the performance with an emotional take on the last line.
Watch the whole performance above or online here.
Fans Loved Clarkson’s Rendition
As is usually the case with Clarkson’s covers, fans took to the comments on the YouTube video to tell her how impressed they were.
“She keeps this up on her show and in a few years she can market a few volumes of covers… I’d buy them… MANY of them are as good or BETTER than the originals.. she’s such a strong talent,” one person commented.
Another wrote, “I’ve been waiting for Kelly’s cover and she didn’t disappoint! She always manages to make the stong sound like her own.”
Other fans were surprised she was able to make such a popular song sound like her own.
“Once again, Kelly puts her magic, that voice, fresh arrangement, ending it on a minor key, guarantees TEARS!!!”
Another wrote, “Kelly makes everything better! Olivia Rodrigo must be freaking out.”
Some people took to the comments to share that they weren’t a fan of the original but that they loved Clarkson’s song.
“Never really likes the song as much as most of the world. But kelly is a goddess. She definitely outdid herself. Queen Bae,” one person commented.
Rodrigo herself has yet to comment on Clarkson performing her song at the time of writing, though sometimes artists do tweet out links to the cover and let her know how they feel. She did, however, “like” NBC’s tweet about the performance.
“When we didn’t think we could love @Olivia_Rodrigo’s ‘driver’s license’ anymore, and then @kellyclarkson does this,” the account tweeted alongside a video of the performance.
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