Kelly Clarkson's 2020 split from her husband Brandon Blackstock led to a whole lot of change in the singer's day-to-day routine, including where she lives.

After a stint in Montana, where she owns a horse ranch, Clarkson made the decision to permanently settle in New York City. That meant relocating both her talk show and her children — 9-year-old River Rose and 7-year-old Remy — to New York, and it also meant leaving her Los Angeles-based The Voice gig behind.

Clarkson has been a coach on multiple seasons of The Voice, including the seasons that took place in 2020 and 2021, when she was navigating the immediate aftermath of her divorce.

In an interview with USA Today, she admits that it was a relief to take a step back from the show, because it was difficult to fake a smile for the camera while she was going though pain and heartbreak.

"Full disclosure, I put on a smile a lot of those times because I was struggling a lot in my personal life," Clarkson says. "I've learned a lot about what I'm capable of handling, and also what you should not handle. That was me saying 'bye' to The Voice and having this big move."

Making the decision to step away was bittersweet, because of all the friendships she'd formed onset: Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani and John Legend were just a few of the stars that served as Clarkson's co-coaches during her tenure on The Voice.

"I love that family, but I was like, 'I'm struggling. I can't smile anymore. I don't feel like smiling,'" she recounts.

Her big move came with its fair share of doubts. Clarkson says she was convinced she was making "a horrible decision," but she also knew something had to change.

"I knew I needed a fresh start and couldn't be in L.A. I really wanted to be in Montana, but you can't really do a show from there quite yet. So I was like, 'The only other option would probably be New York,'" the singer adds.

However, it didn't take too long for her to see that she'd made the right decision. Clarkson says she felt confident in her new choice of home when she saw how well her family was fitting into their new home city.

"I genuinely love it, and I love that my kids love it," she says.

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