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Kelly Clarkson Sings "Ave Maria" For the Pope

Kelly Clarkson Sings

Kelly Clarkson, the first season’s winner of American Idol, sings a rousing rendition of the hymn “Ave Maria” for Pope Benedict XVI at Saint Joseph Seminary in Yonkers, New York on Saturday.

About 25,000 young worshippers rallied for the Popemobile (and Kelly).

“I was so excited to be asked to sing for the Pope,” Kelly. “I grew up singing church music, and it’s always been a dream of mine to perform ‘Ave Maria.’ To have that dream come true on such a special occasion is truly a blessing.”

Watch the video below of Kelly belting out “Ave Maria”!

Kelly Clarkson Sings “Ave Maria” For the Pope
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Photos: AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, Pool
Posted to: Kelly Clarkson, Pope

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  • sam

    I love kelly.

  • legs

    she’s sure getting bigger and bigger.

  • Summer

    OMG that was so amazing. I never knew she could sing like that. especially the last part. I was like can this girl really go on forever like this. Kelly I love you lots.

  • nunny

    that’s cool
    the dress makes her look much older now..
    oh and thanks jared b/c we really haven’t seen a lot of kelly now a days

  • jenny

    Wow! Very good performance, especially the last part was sung with such feeling…
    What a beautiful and appropriate looking dress for the occassion as well. She does not look big at all. Just healthy and pretty.

  • Knothead

    Awesome. I especially LOVED the ending.

    Its a shame that she doesnt live up to societys toothpick standards when it comes to shape and size. <>

    You go girl…. rock on with that voice and breaking the stereotypical standards of the supposed ideal shape for women !

  • http://justjared lil

    sound good!
    but i preffer see katharine mcphee!

  • Jimmy

    I loved this!!! Kelly is the best singer ever!!

  • Michelle

    Now that girl can sing!!
    I’d like to see this years contestants just try and belt out a tune like that!

  • Meg

    Interesting that she made the song a bit pop.

  • Saruhh

    if only she wasnt such a bitch

  • Ali

    what a horror!!! why didn’t they get someone with a real voice. clarkson’s voice is a pop voice – no depth, no character. they should have chosen the best singer in the country – i’m sure there are opera divas who would have been much better for the Pope. I’m horrified at the last of discrimination.

  • Ibelieve

    As a professional opera singer, I think Schubert’s Ave Maria should not be sung in a chest voice. I really like Kelly Clarkson as a pop singer, but the classical tone of this song and her belting clashes, while sounding slightly choppy.

  • cathy

    she sounded amazing and looked fantastic doing it!

  • Paula

    I think Kelly is extremely talented and I love her voice. However, I have to agree with a previous poster in that her voice is not suited for this song. This song needed a clear, powerful voice without the raspiness and the trills. Like Whitney Houston.

  • maria

    kelly did an amazing job! She is amazing!! That might be one of her best performances so far.

  • RC

    Where is Michael Buble when you need him! LOL.

    I thought it what a stagerring performance. I am so glad she’s still singing these days. I like her :D

  • ace tomato

    That is the first time I ever heard her sing. WOW.

    Beautiful, fresh, modern – yet reverent and sincere – rendition of a masterpiece.

    I am genuinely impressed. That was lovely, lovely, lovely.

  • mysticspiral

    Kelly is a good singer, but like some of you said, her voice is not appropriate for this particular song.

    In her Christmas CD, Celine Dion performs this song, and I must say is AMAZING!!! Much better than Kelly’s rendition.

  • any.

    She did a great job i was there i actually just got home. She sang three songs before the pope arrived. She was amazing

  • Linda

    Kelly did a wonderful job, but she should have dresses more modestly. The front of her dress was a little low cut…thank God the cameras did not show that and only pictured the side of her.
    Kelly….modesty always ..and especially if the presence of Men of God is a no brainer. maybe you should have picked a different dress or a shawl to covert you???

  • ?

    Celine Dion would have done a much better job. And why was she wearing such a low cut dress in front of the Pope?

  • Bob

    Wow, what a terrible job. I guess she was the only catholic singer they could find to perform on short notice. And who cares why she was wearing a short dress. We all know the pope and all those other bishops, cardinals and priests are more interested in playing with little boys than looking at a busty blond chick.

  • mia

    You do NOT sing Ave Maria this way! Fast and like a damn pop song!

    She have a good voice but not for this kid of music.

    Emmy Rossum was going to be 10 times better.

  • whatever

    oh stop criticizing her dress. it was conservative just because it had a little form to it rather than being completely covered up and looking like an old lady doesnt mean she doesn’t respect the pope or what not. it wasnt spaghetti strap, wasn’t too short, wasn’t strapless just had a cut in the front. whats the big deal? He’s the pope for crying out loud, i highly doubt that that was all he was thinking about while she was singing.

  • Not Impressed

    i love kelly but this was awful. why would you take such a beautiful song & make it pop, especailly when singing for the pope. i have been going to church ever since i can remember & have never heard a version of ave maria i didn’t like until now. it is sad that people who volunteer to sing in a church group can sing the song better than the individual chosen to sing it for the pope. i couldn’t understand anything but the ave maria. also, she was not dressed properly. the length of her dress was fine but her shoulders should have been covered & she should not have displayed cleavage. it is just proper & respectful. i love kelly & was so excited to hear her sing. i think she could have pulled it off if she chose to sing it differently – but we all know she doesn’t take advice well. too bad as she has an amazing voice & this could have been much better.

  • loren

    love her!

  • No Cleavage Please

    To Whatever: No the Pope probably wasn’t thinking about her dress when she was singing . For virutally any other occasion that dress would be totally appropriate. It was sexy w/o being sleezy & was below the knee. However, you are supposed to be covered up when meeting the pope – no bare shoulders. It is just proper etiquette – regardless if you are Catholic. She had to know that & if she didn’t want to follow what is respectful she shouldn’t have accepted the honor to sing for him. With every head of state or member of royalty there are just certain things you do/rules to follow out of respect – plain & simple.

  • melissa

    i bet she was just nervous! I think she did a great job considering..

    I was curious after someone mentioned the celine dion version. here’s a link to it

  • Yikes

    Oh, man- I have multiple problems with this:

    1) Ave Maria should not be “belted”. But that was what she was doing.
    2) Ave Maria loses its charm in translation. The English bits souded horrible.
    3) She can’t pronounce Latin. Has she not heard any other version of this song? How do you not get it right?!
    4) It is not a pop song. It has beauty in simplicity. Much prefer Andrea Bocelli’s version

    But I must say that I usually love Kelly Clarkson. Moral of the story- stick to mainstream music and English.

  • Elizabeth

    Wow, I love her dress . . . gorgeous. Love the vintage look. As for modesty, I think the dress is fine – it’s 2008, and I’m sure the Pope can stand the sight of cleavage and bare shoulders. As other have said, she doesn’t have the kind of voice that is really suited to that song, but I actually thought she did really well with it . . . especially

  • tom c

    Why show so much cleavage when you’re singing for the Pope??
    Where’s the modesty??

  • K

    GREAT job Kelly !!!!!!

  • luka

    Thankfully the naysayers are few…this was a beautiful performance, and clearly the Pope and audience agreed. The choice of Kelly was appropriate for a youthful rally. Her rendition was fresh and modern but still respectful. A stuffy, operatic rendition of this song would not have worked. Emily Rossum’s voice, while pretty, is too thin. Celine’s version is too slow and sounds nasally. Whitney Houston? Please. When’s the last time she sang in public. Her voice is shot from her crack habit. Kelly gave a special performance for a special occasion.

  • albus

    Everything was good until she did that high tone in the end. That was completely unnecessary.

  • Paula

    Hee Hee. #34, let me clarify – pre-Bobby Brown/crack/kiss-my-@ss Whitney. Someone like that.

  • eddie jones

    she outta be singin to weight watchers to lose that booty of hers, damn girl you used to be sorta cute, stop eating

  • mar

    well I think the young people that were there and miliion of them around the world liked this version like the pope did, cause if you dont know this version kelly chose because the pope likes it, and kelly was asked to sing for the pope and she said yes of course.

    the dress, what about it, she was dressed and not naked.

    For her shape, I think catholic people dont do discrimination about anything.

    her style is the most versatil in the industry and the world.

    people said that they didnt know about her nowdays, well she was in a world tour and came back in april 17th to USA for this event and more news, cause if you dont know kelly has a career out of USA. not just in it.

    and if she sings in front of the pope is becasue when the pope visits a country, the country does several event for him and one of those events is to ask and invite reconized artist of the country to perfom in front of him, and that was what kelly was asked.

    And about her voice: I think she is the one to be perfoming Ave Maria and this version most of all because the pope liked this version and because young preople was involved here more than ever. kelly was the right choice and her voice AMAZING, clear, fresh and youth

  • yanin

    kelly clarkson is amazing

    good job

    sing very nice

  • mar

    I hope people who are angry with this perfomance dont be because they are fans of other singer, I hope.

    because even in television, in my local channel( I am from southamercia) say that this was an amazing perfomance, from a young artist to a million young people.

    by the way, she was amazing, her voice is there!!! clear and fresh.

  • irma

    The Holy Father likes her song.

  • tina

    Whitney can still sing circles around anyone. By the way Whitney’s new cd drops in November. She is performing at the Jazz festival in Tobago, Charity concert in London in May, and is in the studio right now. Don’t sleep on my girl. Kelly is fabulous and that is all. Smooches to the LEGENDARY MS. HOUSTON.

  • Come on

    She did a great job, you would be hard pressed to find another pop singer to pull this off. Don’t give me any names of old geezers or a has beens. Simpson girls, Mandy, H. duff, H. Montana, Underwood(snooze), Fergie, Nelly F. This was a youth rally, to attract young people not bore them with the same old traditional rendition.

  • maria

    mar: I agree with you on everything. I’m from southamerica too and i’m a BIG KELLY FAN. I loved this performance, she was absolutly amazing. She was asked a couple of days ago to sing this version of the song because it’s the one that the pope likes. She didn’t sing it her way, she was really nervous about doing this version, but in my opinion this was one of the best performances of her career.

  • mar

    sorry if I have to clarify some things and sorry for my english that is not good.

    I thinik people dont know what KELLY DOES OUT OF USA, cause like I said she has a profesional career out of it, with concerts and interviews and her shape what about it, her voice is what is important she is a singer not a model, she sells her music not her body, she is reconized around the world for her music, even other contestants use her music to perform in their countries, in their versions of american idol for her music not her body and she can lose weight but brain cells cant be bought.

  • oh hey

    everyone always criticizes her for one reason or another

    this is DEFF not pop
    and she most certainly lost weight

    i loved it!
    her voice is absolutely amazing

    and watevssss, her dress is fine

  • bolishopin

    God counts every tear rolling down your face.
    no matter where you are, remember always, you’re not alone.

  • oh hey

    reading other comments, i forgot yeah this was for a YOUTH RALLY maybe they would’ve had some opera singer if it were for senior citizens

    the audience and pope seemed to LOVE it, so that’s greeeeeeat

  • mar

    yeah, maria, she was nervoucs because she was going to sing the old version but when people told her that the favourite version of the pope was this new version that was sung before, she canged it to this. and was the right choice I liked it, really really like this version and that final note, I was really nervous for her hehe, but she impressed me again, she is a pandora box.

  • FerociousD

    She was amazing!
    That rendition of Ave Maria puts any of her fellow contemporary pop stars to shame. Bravo Kelly!