‘The Voice’: Abby Cates moves forward singing Kelly Clarkson for Kelly Clarkson

Abby Cates got the best sort of inspiration on “The Voice” Tuesday.

When she revealed she had decided to sing “Because of You” in the knockout round, she received firsthand advice from the songwriter herself, her coach Kelly Clarkson. 

Abby was understandably nervous about singing a Kelly song for Kelly. But Clarkson helped her get past that, even rearranging the song a bit.

Clarkson also told the 17-year-old some of the back story behind the lyrics.

“I wrote it at 16, it literally just started as a poetry kind of thing because I just needed to get it out and my mom was like ‘you are very angry about something, you should start writing,'” Clarkson revealed.

She continued: “I wanted this song to sound different when I was recording it because, when I was writing it, I had different intent.  Abby is singing this song how I wish I would have sang it in the beginning. I saw my mom break. You watch that and as a child you don’t know how to help.”  

Clarkson said the lyrics, which include, “Because of you, I never stray too far from the sidewalk / Because of you, I learned to play on the safe side so I don’t get hurt” were a direct reflection of growing up in a broken home. 

When it came to performance time, Cates competed against Claire DeJean, who sang Shawn Mendes’ “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back.” Both singers gave strong showings, but Cates’ performance seemed to have Clarkson holding back tears.

Also: ‘The Voice’: Journey is over for persistent singer Matt Johnson, others move on for now

Jennifer Hudson told Clarkson, “I don’t feel like you can go wrong either way.” And Adam Levine helpfully added, “The only person who can make a mistake here is Kelly.”

In the end, after a quick sidetrack to try to award the round to host Carson Daly, Clarkson said she knew she had to choose one of the singers because, “I don’t want you to split the vote on each other.”

And Cates’ Kelly interpretation won the day.

Contributing: Cydney Henderson

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