What a lovely performance!
During the 56th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday, Kelsea Ballerini and fellow hitmaker Kenny Chesney took the stage to perform her fan-favorite song, “Half of My Hometown.”
On the large evening, the duo sat close by one another, socially distanced on a couple of stools, as they soulfully sang the duet — a series of purple, blue and white lights flashed behind them throughout.
Ballerini, 27, released the hit tune as a new single on Friday — after it initially showed up on her album Kelsea, which dropped last March.
Hours in front of the show, she shared an Instagram photograph of her stunning look, she captioned it, “Turning music city emerald.”
Days in front of the ACM Awards performance, Ballerini communicated her excitement about her then-forthcoming exhibition with Chesney, 53. She tweeted, “Can’t quite explain how thrilled I am to be debuting half of my hometown with @kennychesney this Sunday on the @ACMawards. “Will I cry?”
Following Ballerini and Chesney’s exhibition, Chris Stapleton won the pined for collection of the year grant, for his hit Starting Over. The star said thanks to his significant other Morgane, who was not in attendance because of a doula commitment, during his acceptance speech.
Ballerini was up for female artist of the year against any likes of Miranda Lambert, Ashley McBryde, Maren Morris and Carly Pearce — Morris at last got back the success.
A year ago, the “Half of My Hometown” star spoke PEOPLE about working together with Chesney, whom she depicted as her youth saint.
“We’re both from Knoxville, Tennessee, which is why he’s on the song,” Ballerini told PEOPLE. “Growing up, he was the hometown hero. A couple of years ago I was about to play [in Times Square], and he took a photo of my face on the marquee, got my number, texted me and said, ‘Proud of you, hometown girl, love Kenny.'”
“When I wrote ‘Half of My Hometown,’ I sent it to him because I think we grew up really similarly, and there’s no one else I’d want on this song — and I can’t believe he did it,” Ballerini added then.
The 2021 ACM Awards — hosted by Mickey Guyton and Keith Urban — broadcasted live from Nashville on CBS and Paramount+ at 8 p.m. EST.