Kelly Clarkson, who won the first season of American Idol, returned to the show yesterday to deliver an emotional performance of her song “Piece by Piece.”

Kelly Clarkson On ‘American Idol’

Clarkson served as both a guest judge and a featured performer on American Idol Thursday night. When she took the mic, she chose to sing “Piece by Piece,” a song for her daughter that’s about both her own father, and her daughter River Rose‘s father, Clarkson’s husband Brandon Blackstock.

“Piece by piece/He restored my faith/That a man can be kind/
And a father could stay,” Clarkson sings in the emotional ballad.

Towards the end of the song, Clarkson started to get choked up, whispering, “Sorry,” into the microphone before powering through. Clarkson, however, wasn’t the only one getting emotional. Judges Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez welled up with emotion, and Harry Connick seemed on the verge of tears, as did many of the Idol contestants.

“I’m pregnant, and it’s nostalgic, and I can’t believe it’s the last season,” Clarkson explained to host Ryan Seacrest afterwards. “It’s just a touching song for me because I wrote it about my little girl when I was pregnant, and now I’m pregnant with my little boy.”

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