Singer Abby Cates took a nervy risk when she decided to take on a Kelly Clarkson song for her Battle Round on The Voice. It’s well known that the entertainment industry is littered with performers whose egos are both big and fragile at once — and they don’t always want to hear someone else doing their material, especially songs they’ve worked so hard to own. Cates got lucky, however, in that Kelly Clarkson is not one of those fragile ego performers. Clarkson is the opposite, a truly generous soul who not only encouraged Cates, she helped her prepare and absolutely kill it. Cates sang one of Clarkson’s earliest songs, “Because of You” — a gut-wrenching song Clarkson started writing when she was sixteen. The 17-year-old Cates was right in her lane.
“Because of You” — a painful song about family heartbreak — still moves Clarkson and any listener who’s emotionally available. And Cates’ version hit her hard, viewers could see it. Cates got the biggest praise and the ultimate compliment from Clarkson, who said. “Abby is singing this song how I wish I would have sang it in the beginning.”
Still Clarkson had a tough decision after Claire DeJean, Cates’ Battle Round opponent, was equally impressive singing Shawn Mendes’ “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back”. But Clarkson chose Clarkson — that is, she chose Cates. How could she not? The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 pm on NBC.