Kelly Clarkson's Lainey Wilson Cover Packs a Nostalgic Punch

Kelly Clarkson returned to current country on her talk show's “Kellyoke” segment.

She chose one of country radio's most popular songs, Lainey Wilson's melancholy “Watermelon Moonshine,” about a romantic, alcohol-fueled first love.

As in “Strawberry Wine,” the song's narrator vividly recalls a disastrous day “right after senior year,” when she and her high school sweetheart “gave each other more than our hearts / With the help of a mason jar.”

In her Louisiana drawl, Wilson's words about “parkin' back in them kudzu vines” and “a-riding them old farm ruts” sound natural. However, Clarkson easily adapted “Kellyoke” to her style.

It's no surprise: Clarkson has shown her versatility and ability to switch genres and styles throughout her studio albums and countless country “Kellyoke” covers.

Her rendition of “Watermelon Moonshine” is as emotional and intense as Wilson's, and Clarkson's soaring soprano proves she can sing country well.

Wilson earned five awards at the 2023 CMA Awards last week. CMA's top award, Entertainer of the Year, was one of those wins. Wilson received the nomination for the first time.