Kelly Clarkson Beautifully Sings Keith Whitley’s “When You Say Nothing At All”

Kelly Clarkson honored Keith Whitley (pictured in the inlay) with a cover of

(Circle Inlay) Ebet Roberts / Redferns / Getty Images / (Background) The Kelly Clarkson Show / YouTube

Kelly Clarkson Honors The Late Keith Whitley With “Kellyoke” Performance

Kelly Clarkson showcased her respect for Keith Whitley in one of her recent “Kellyoke” performances on her talk show. She honored the late country music legend by covering his timeless track, “When You Say Nothing at All.”

Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz co-wrote “When You Say Nothing at All.” Whitley released his recording in 1988, and it reached the #1 spot on the Hot Country Songs chart.

Kelly Clarkson covered the Keith Whitley song "When You Say Nothing at All" on her talk show. Here, Keith is photographed in black and white performing t the Arrowood Hotel in Purchase, New York on August 4, 1988.
Ebet Roberts / Redferns / Getty Images

In 2004, CMT ranked Whitley’s “When You Say Nothing at All” at the 12th spot on its list of 100 Greatest Love Songs.

Alison Krauss & Union Station helped further cement the song’s legacy when they released their cover in 1995. Their recording, which came out six years after Whitley’s death, reached #3 on the Hot Country Songs chart.

Clarkson previously covered another one of Whitley’s songs on her talk show. She delivered a gorgeous performance of “I’m No Stranger to the Rain” during an episode that aired in April 2022.


After hearing Clarkson’s stunning version of “I’m No Stranger to the Rain,” fans had faith she’d deliver an equally respectful rendition of “When You Say Nothing at All.”

Fans React To Kelly’s Version Of “When You Say Nothing At All”

As viewers expected, Clarkson’s performance of “When You Say Nothing at All” was beautifully done. She kept the song true to its original style, while still managing to make it her own.

Fans shared their reactions to the performance in the comments on YouTube:

“that is my favorite song. i’d love to hear Kelly do the whole song. she sang this piece so beautifully.”

“She’s just so beautiful, always sings from her soul.”

“My wedding dance song. Wish Kelly’s version had been around back then! Lovely rendition.”

“It’s time for Kelly to do a country album. Girl can sing anything.”

“I’d love for her to do this song and other Keith Whitley songs in full. Her voice is so beautiful it makes me cry.”

“Great job Kelly! Love this song! I’m sure Keith Whitley is smiling down on you & you made him proud!”

Now, you can also Clarkson’s version of “When You Say Nothing at All.” Watch her performance in the video below.

Which one of Whitley’s songs would you like to hear Clarkson sing next?

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