Kelly Clarkson has managed to maintain an incredibly successful, lucrative, and critically acclaimed career long after being crowned the very first American Idol in 2002. Since then, Kelly has become a two-time Grammy Award-winning artist, talk show host, and released eight studio albums. While building an incredible career, Kelly has also been able to balance her changing personal life.
In 2013, she married talent manager Brandon Blackstock and the couple welcomed two children not long after their nuptials. Kelly also became the stepmother to Brandon’s children from a previous marriage. But in 2020, the life that Kelly had built was upended when she decided to file for divorce from her husband. Now that the couple is officially ending their union after roughly seven years together, let’s take a look at the youngsters in Kelly’s life.
Who Are Kelly Clarkson’s Children?Kelly Clarkson shares two children with Brandon and is the stepmother to his son and daughter from a previous marriage. Kelly’s children are stepdaughter Savannah Blackstock, 18, stepson Seth Blackstock, 14, Kelly’s daughter with Brandon, River Rose Blackstock, 6, and son with Brandon, Remington Alexander Blackstock, 4. Throughout their marriage, Kelly and Brandon made the effort to show fans their family was incredibly united.
They would often appear at a number of events together, especially film premieres for movies targeted to children in their own kids’ age range. The family has also met major milestones, and Kelly, who practically stepped into her maternal role when she married Brandon, has welcomed her own children and demonstrated her concern for protecting her children’s privacy, while gushing about them as often as she can.
Kelly has been reticent, however, to divulge certain details of her children’s lives with the media. In fact, she’s tried to give both of her two youngsters and her stepchildren as normal of an upbringing as possible. “I want to make sure they come first,” Kelly said in an August 2019 interview with People. “When we were doing the schedule for [The Kelly Clarkson Show], I was like, ‘I have to drop my kids off at school.’ And I’m always the one who puts them to bed. You just have to prioritize and juggle and make people know it’s an important thing…And don’t feel guilty about it.”
Kelly also previously told Good Housekeeping that she wants her youngsters to have “a servant’s heart. We do community service as a family, and I also call them out on things like getting impatient when they stand in line — because they hardly ever have to. But that’s just the reality of what they were born into.”
Kelly Clarkson’s Road To MotherhoodKelly’s journey to becoming a mother began in the early 2010s. Clarkson and Blackstock tied the knot in 2013, making Kelly a maternal figure to Brandon’s son and daughter, both of whom he shares with ex-wife Melissa White (née Ashworth). At the time of the couple’s marriage, Seth would have been roughly seven years old, while Savannah was just a few years away from becoming a teenager. Over the course of her marriage to Brandon, Kelly showed that she has a very special relationship with her stepchildren and values her relationship with them. But it wasn’t long after she and Brandon exchanged their vows that Kelly’s journey to welcoming her two youngsters with Brandon began.
But before becoming a mom, even Kelly admitted that she was not in a good place. “I was in a very dark place for a long time. It’s just so hard to have normalcy,” Kelly told Good Housekeeping in 2016. But upon becoming a mother, Kelly felt like she had completely “lucked out” when it came to her personal life. “I’m so happy. The fact that I’ve managed to find a husband who understands and respects everything I do is astonishing. The fact that I have these four beautiful kids…I just lucked out. I’m waiting for the floor to drop out from under me.
Kelly and Brandon welcomed their first child, daughter River Rose, sometime in 2014. Roughly two years later, their son Remington Alexander was born and their family was complete. The addition of her son and daughter also spurred a new passion in Kelly — writing children’s books! In October 2016, Kelly made her authorial debut with the book River Rose & The Magical Lullaby. The book was not only named for her precious daughter, it also featured Kelly’s love of singing. Roughly one year later, the follow-up to Kelly’s debut was released — River Rose & The Magical Christmas.
Does Kelly Have Full Custody Of Her Children?Although Kelly’s family life appeared, from the outside, to be so incredibly happy, there were issues going on of which her fans were completely unaware. In June 2020, Clarkson filed for divorce. It was incredibly shocking for her fans, considering that nothing had seemingly changed, although Kelly did sell her Los Angeles home in May. As the months went on, more details about Kelly’s divorce emerged, including whether or not she would retain primary custody of her children.
It November, details came to light that the divorce proceedings were getting more difficult. Kelly initially would retain primary custody of her and Brandon’s children, so that they could continue to live with their mom in Los Angeles, go to school, and be with their friends. Brandon, however, filed to receive $436,000 in spousal and child support — roughly $301,000 in spousal support with nearly $135,000 in child support. Although Kelly does have primary custody of her children, HollywoodLife verified that the singer would pay up to $135,000 in child support.
“California has one of the highest guideline supports in all 50 states, it’s based off income,” Los Angeles family lawyer Kelly Chang Rickert shared with HL. “So yes, depending on Kelly’s salary (which should be in the millions), his request sounds about right. You can still get child support if you don’t have majority of the kids, if the other sides income is far, far greater.”
While all signs point to Kelly maintaining Los Angeles residence to continue work, music videos, engagements and more, it appears that Brandon has other plans. Kelly’s ex made plans to live in Montana, and likely believed that the couple’s two children would be able to travel back and forth in order to spend time with both parents. However, this did not come to fruition. “The court finds that the minor children are not now and have not been residents of Montana and that California is their home state,” a judge ruled in paperwork obtained by HL. As such, River and Remington will continue to live in Los Angeles and will see their father on the first, third, and fifth weekends of each month.
How Kelly & Her Kids Are Doing TodayAs Kelly’s divorce proceedings continue, the talk show host has used her platform to open up about how she is coping with this difficult transition in her life. “It’s horrible,” Kelly confessed on the December 1 episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show. “There are so many hard parts. The hardest for me is the kids.” But Kelly knows that she is doing the right thing for herself, Brandon, and her children. “This isn’t happiness, and we both deserve better. That line so hit home for me: I don’t want this for everyone in this scenario right now,” she said.
Prior to the aforementioned December episode of her talk show, Kelly also opened up to Extra about how her children are coping with the divorce, and how therapy has helped them find peace during this difficult time in their young lives. “It’s just one day when you’re like, ‘Wow, this has forever changed and it’s not just my heart has changed, there’s other little hearts, too,'” she shared.
“I have a great family and friends that are there for me,” she continued. “It’s a very hard thing to navigate, to be able to be honest and share your story, so maybe you can help someone else, but at the same time protecting these little kids you adore.”
The most important aspect of her divorce is to ensure that her children are treated with total love and care, as well as embracing the complicated emotions they are experiencing. “We have a lot of help as far as therapists or child psychologists because we want to do it right,” she said. “I definitely want to do it right,” she added. “Everyone’s sad and it’s okay to be sad.”