One reason why Kelly Clarkson has such legions of loyal fans is that there’s not even a smidge of phoniness in the singer-songwriter's entire being. Another reason is her voice, that can belt out any genre from country to rock, pop, and soul, or even a mix of them all.

Her ballads have become standards since she became the first “American Idol” winner, and there’s no karaoke night anywhere that’s not chock-full of Kelly Clarkson hits. She is one artist unafraid to speak her mind, and she sings about it all. She had the crowd on September 8 “Today” show lapping up every note like a rich pudding, in a set that had favorites and two new songs from her album, “Meaning of Life,” out next month.

No one can ever accuse Kelly Clarkson of not keeping it real, and she made this morning musical and fun, too. She even sang an impromptu duet with daughter, River Rose. It was definitely morning TV to make a whole day better!

Packed Plaza, perfect notes

Kelly Clarkson kept her fans in anticipation for weeks for her “Today” gig, and everyone from beauty queens to grandmothers were brandishing the trademark Kelly Clarkson butterfly placards on Rockefeller Plaza. The three-time Grammy winner’s demeanor and attitude are anything but that of a diva, but when it comes to singing, she is one of the rare artists who actually sound better live than on recordings.

She spoke to Matt Lauer about why the title of her new collection means more than simply setting the warm, soulful tone of the new album.

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“Right now, I feel like we need connection,” she said. Even the cover art depicts a circle, the endless circle of life, “with no one in the middle, and no one left out,” she explained, “just all of us doing it together.”

Clarkson and her on-stage assembly truly got the perfect, gentle groove going on her new song, “Love So Soft.” The sexy, smooth tune is like the lace of sonic lingerie, and an anti-venom to the “tough love” trend. Lines like “love so soft that you can’t rub it off ya” are destined to be embedded into souls through the coming cooler months, and become fixtures on playlists.

Walk Away” and “Stronger” have the same power to pull hands in the air and pump any crowd with energy, thanks to the way that Clarkson can trounce high notes and runs like a prize fighter. The gathered crowd sang every word of the songs she wrote with her, and she let out a breath of “Whew” after the last notes as if to remind herself “I've still got it.” The best of the set was yet to come.

Moms club with Hoda and friends

Kelly played games with Hoda Kotb, Shenielle Jones, Jenna Bush-Hager, and guest-host for “Today's Take,” Ellie Kemper, being the ever-affable good sport.

First, it was identifying soft things while blindfolded, and that was easy to nail. The last was a real, live “lion bunny,” and that started a conversation of its own. The busy mom related that daughter River Rose, 3, had only wanted to come to see the “tiger” cub visiting along with other animals.

It wasn't long before River and her brother were sitting on laps, and making all of TV land let out “aww's.” River made her hushed tiger sound with Hoda, and when mom started to sing “Over the Rainbow,” her daughter beamed with a smile, and sang along! Talk about an overload on the “sweet meter"!

Kelly confessed “I'm just too lazy and exhausted to be anything but myself,” saying that whenever she sees other celebrities “doing their thing,” she imagines how hard their persona is to keep up! She delights that her young ones are so different, saying that Remington Alexander, 1, “doesn't care if anyone notices him, he just has a good time.” River, by contrast, wants everyone to notice her. That can't be hard since she was an inspiration for “Heartbeat Song” even in her mommy’s womb. She loves the moments of “sweet and totally inappropriate,” like being told “Mommy, you’re so beautiful” with all her makeup off.

A moving close

The best treat for fans came with Kelly Clarkson's closing song for the morning, “Move You.” The powerful, tender imagery of the song summons up nearly every relevant recollection of life and compares it to the aspiration of love that the singer has. The buoyance of the audience transformed to almost a reverent hush. This is another song that will have a place in the Kelly Clarkson songbook for posterity, and definitely created an impactful memory for this morning.