Kelly Clarkson came out as a bright and joyful lady with enormous aspirations to achieve when fans first saw her on American Idol. Clarkson’s charming demeanor remained after she won the reality competition series on September 4, 2002, and she quickly rose to the top of the music industry’s food chain with hits like “A Moment Like This.”

Though Clarkson is known for her positive outlook, she revealed a different side of herself when she recorded “Because of You” years later. Were the song’s melancholy lyrics referencing the singer’s tragic past?

Clarkson, of course, has as many layers as any other celebrity, albeit her history is more tragic than some, given her repeated challenges throughout childhood and adulthood.

Consider Clarkson’s strained relationship with her biological father. The Grammy winner has no ties with her father, and their estrangement may have impacted her capacity to develop meaningful relationships in the past.

Bring a box of tissues and join us as we examine Kelly Clarkson’s heartbreaking real-life story.

The words to Clarkson’s single “Because of You” are sad. “Because of you / I never venture too far away from the sidewalk,” she sings in one verse. “Thanks to you, I’ve learned to play it safe, so I don’t get wounded.”

Unfortunately, this heartbreaking ballad concerns Clarkson’s biological father, Stephen Michael Clarkson, and her parent’s nasty divorce.

Stephen refused to maintain contact with Clarkson’s mother when they divorced when she was six years old, a devastating blow for any youngster.

Clarkson attempted to contact Stephen but was reportedly refused several times in what she described as a “humiliating” endeavor. During an interview with Skavlan in November 2017, she even referred to her relationship with her father as “poison” and questioned whether he was even “capable of loving.”

On the other hand, Clarkson is optimistic about her relationship with her father. “I know many people go, ‘Aww,’ but that’s not the case,” she stated. “I suppose it’s difficult to miss something you never had if you don’t grow up with it.”

Stephen, it appears to us, is the one who is missing out here.

Kelly Clarkson’s non-existent relationship with her father makes it unsurprising that her parent’s divorce had a lasting impact on her life. Making things more complicated? According to the Mirror, Clarkson’s mother, Jeanne, divorced her second husband when the singer was 19.

Clarkson began to doubt the possibility of lasting love after witnessing failed relationships within her family. “Divorce isn’t fun,” Clarkson said in January 2012 to the Mirror. “It has an impact on the relationships you form as you become older. You need to work more because you’re worried it won’t work out.”

Fortunately for Clarkson, her husband, Brandon Blackstock, restored her trust in partnerships in multiple ways. “This isn’t a knock on everyone I dated before him, but I’m just going, to be honest: I never felt like, [honestly], sexually attracted to anybody before him,” Clarkson admitted at a private SiriusXM broadcast in November 2017, according to People. “There was something about him,” she observed.

It’s no secret that Hollywood values appearances. Clarkson, who has been body-shamed throughout her career, is fully aware of this. The singer first encountered this tragic truth when competing on American Idol. “Even on American Idol, I was incredibly slender, but I was bigger than the other females on the show so that people would say stuff to me,” she said.

Clarkson, for the most part, ignored her detractors. “Luckily, I am super confident, so I’ve never had an issue with shutting people down and saying, ‘Oh, you know, that’s just what I’m rocking. It’s all right.’ “She stated.

Aside from Clarkson’s confidence, it’s disheartening that she suffers criticism post-Idol. One example is when Chris Wallace of Fox News fat-shamed Clarkson during an interview on The Mike Gallagher Show. “She could skip the deep-dish pizza for a spell,” Wallace advised Gallagher. Sheesh.

Clarkson has also received backlash on social media. According to Rolling Stone, a Twitter user once dubbed Clarkson “fat” after she published 2017 Fourth of July message. Clarkson said calmly, “….and still f***ing fantastic.” Take ’em, girl.