Live preview: Kelly Clarkson

Pop music's cynical princess brings her ballbusting anthems to Radio City Music Hall.

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Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson Photograph: Harper Smith

Last October, while taping a VH1 Unplugged special downtown, Kelly Clarkson told a room full of people that she was wearing two pairs of Spanx under her formfitting crimson dress, before swigging sips from a can of Coke. "Was that okay, you guys?" she asked after each stellar take. "You can be honest." After singing "Dark Side," the sole stripped-down track from her fifth and best record, Stronger, Clarkson admitted that she almost cried twice, right in front of us. "I haven't performed that enough to be cold to it," she said, smiling shyly. One of the best things about Clarkson has always been her unapologetic awkwardness, which is still refreshing, given that her vault to fame resulted from an entire nation voting for her talent over some dude's mop of curls.

Fresh off her Jingle Ball appearance, pop music's cynical princess returns to New York City to headline at Radio City, a warm room that will be made even warmer by the heat from her pipes. For one night, let the rest of the world fawn ecstatically over Beyonc's blue baby-lady. Any New York City girl who's ever been jilted—hell, any boy, for that matter—should be at Radio City in person or in spirit, crying and screaming about loneliness and civil wars of the heart with the woman who made text-speak cool for song titles. Our lives, most assuredly, would suck without her.

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