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Kelly Clarkson moves 'American Idol' judges to tears with 'Piece By Piece'

By Marilyn Malara
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Kelly Clarkson moves 'American Idol' judges to tears with 'Piece By Piece'
Kelly Clarkson performs during the CMA Music Festival in Nashville in 2013. The singer took to the "American Idol" stage once more during its final season to perform "Piece By Piece." File Photo by Terry Wyatt/UPI | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Kelly Clarkson's return to the American Idol stage ended with the judges and even some contestants in tears.

The original Idol winner sang the emotional song "Piece By Piece" onThursday night, the lyrics at times prompting her to pull away from the mic to regain composure.

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The tune, written about an absent father, included lines such as, "I begged you to want me but you didn't want to," and, "Piece by piece he restored my faith that a man can be kind, that a father could stay."

Judge Keith Urban was visibly moved by the song as he stood to applaud her at the end of the performance, tears in his eyes.

The rest of the judges, including Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Seacrest and Harry Connick, Jr., contestants and audience members followed suit, eventually chanting Clarkson's name.

"Super pregnant and hormonal," Clarkson explained about her raw stage presence. "I'm pregnant, and it's nostalgic, and I can't believe it's the last season. I'm really sorry I just bawled."

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The soon-to-be mother of two said she wrote the heartstring-tugging tune while she was pregnant with her first child, River Rose, with husband Brandon Blackstock.

Last November, Clarkson released a heartwarming music video for the song. It features then-17-month-old River Rose. On Facebook, the singer explained the song was the "happy ending to 'Because Of You.""

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