BURBANK, California — Kelly Clarkson says she “cried a lot” when she returned to the recording studio after having her second child.

Clarkson has two children with husband Brandon Blackstock — 1 year-old Remington Alexander and 3-year-old River Rose. She says she intentionally got back to music fairly quickly after each child was born, but felt especially emotional when recording her new album, “Meaning of Life.”

The 35-year-old singer’s fans appear to be feeling happy with the result: the project debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

The Atlantic Records release marks her first album outside of her “American Idol” record contract and allowed her a new freedom to choose her collaborators and creative direction. She famously clashed with label head Clive Davis.

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