It’s the age-old question that plagued millenials for years, and finally, Kelly Clarkson has declared once and for all that in the Backstreet Boys vs. ‘N Sync debate, she’s planted firmly on Team ‘N Sync. Taking her Piece By Piece 2015 tour to Buffalo, N.Y., on July 21, American Idol‘s inaugural champ, 33, has entertained fan requests during each tour stop, and Buffalo’s song of choice was a major throwback: “Bye Bye Bye.”
“This is a throwback to our junior high days, and a lot of people in our crew are very excited about this,” Clarkson told the crowd midway through her set. Dedicating the song to a concertgoer named Alicia, the pop powerhouse launched into a stripped-down rendition of the boy band’s 2000 hit. (The only thing missing in Clarkson’s spot-on performance that included a group singalong? Those oh-so-iconic dance moves made famous by Justin Timberlake and Co.)
Clarkson, currently on the road with Pentatonix and Eric Hutchinson, has infused her recent sets with covers including Rihanna‘s “Stay” (Pittsburgh), “Jealous” by Nick Jonas (New York City), and “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons (Mansfield, Mass.). Prior to hitting the road, Clarkson slayed another of Rihanna’s tracks, “Bitch Better Have My Money,” during a BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge gig in June.
“It’s a lot of fun for me and the band because the shows can become monotonous, and this keeps us on our toes,” Clarkson told Entertainment Weekly. She also chooses one unsigned act in each city to perform an Open Mic set — after they submit an auction video for consideration — giving them a chance to shine in front of thousands.
However, no matter how much fan interaction Clarkson incorporates into her set, her No. 1 supporter remains the same: 13-month-old daughter River Rose. “Downtime is hanging out with my little girl on the road,” the singer told EW of her daughter with husband Brandon Blackstock. “She’s 1 now, and she’s like our mascot. River literally goes everywhere with me.”
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