Doll keeps close to singer/songwriter (4)
I believe the answer is:
'doll keeps close to singersongwriter' is the definition.
I can't tell whether this definition defines the answer.
'doll keeps close to singersongwriter' is the wordplay.
'doll' becomes 'ken' (I am not sure about this - if you are sure you should give a lot more credence to this answer).
'keeps' indicates putting letters inside (inserted letters are kept inside).
'close to' suggests the final letters (the close of something is the end).
The last letter of 'singersongwriter' is 'r'.
'ken' enclosing 'r' is 'KERN'.
Can you help me to learn more?
(Other definitions for kern that I've seen before include "See 14 Across" , "Old soldier" , "See 12" , "Popular composer" , "Jerome __ , Show Boat composer, d. 1945" .)