Kelly Clarkson may be getting ready to tie the knot any day now, but that didn't stop her from singing her heart out at the Highline Ballroom on Oct. 11 as part of Green Mountain Coffee's latest campaign: "Great Coffee. Good Vibes. Choose Fair Trade." Clarkson ditched the drums and performed acoustic versions of several of her biggest hits (and a few fan favorites) for an intimate audience of around 200. The concert was also broadcast live on Green Mountain Coffee's Facebook page. Back in July, Clarkson traveled to Peru with Green Mountain to learn more about the Fair Trade process.
Examiner.com got a chance to chat about the trip with Lindsey Bolger, Green Mountain's vice president of coffee sourcing and excellence, who accompanied Clarkson. "She loved coffee, but she didn't know where it was from and how it was processed," Bolger said. "So it was really cool to see her on her own personal learning journey, to go up to the highlands of Peru to remote communities to meet farmers and hear about all the work that goes into producing high quality coffee."
One of Bolger's favorite memories from the trip was an off-the-cuff sing off that occurred between Clarkson and a female coffee farmer. At one point, Kelly was talking to two female farmers who knew she was a singer and ended up singing one of her songs. Feeling inspired, one of the farmers burst into song as well. "So there were the two of them singing their own songs, in the middle of a coffee farm in the highlands of Peru," Bolger says, "And making this really spontaneous, super genuine, really heartfelt connection with one another. And that's what Kelly does so well. She really connects with people on a really genuine and authentic level."
For Green Mountain, this is exactly why Clarkson was such a perfect fit for the campaign. "The connection with Kelly is so perfect for us," Bolger said. "She's someone that resonates with everyday consumers, but she's also someone that really understands the value of hard work and persistence. Her message is often about sticking together and that's really what the fair trade message is about."
As Clarkson took the stage, she spoke about her trip abroad. “If you have the chance to travel – do it,” she said. Then she kicked off her shoes, joked about her new pedicure, and started the night off with her No. 1 hit "Since You Been Gone." Her set list continued with "Walk Away" followed by "Don't You Wanna Stay?" a duet she normally sings with Jason Aldean.
That was followed by hit "Stronger" and "Sober," which was chosen by her fans through Facebook. Clarkson told the audience that the song wasn't about alcohol as many had assumed, but was instead a metaphor for a terrible relationship. As the night winded down, Clarkson talked about working with Green Mountain and learning more about Fair Trade coffee.
“It’s nice to do something that betters the quality of someone’s life," she said. Clarkson closed the night with the popular single "Behind These Hazel Eyes" and told the audience she was off to “go home and get hitched.” In August, Clarkson revealed she and her fiancé Brandon Blackstock were eloping.
Alexandra Finkel contributed reporting.