Kelsea Ballerini Delivers Acoustic Performance of “Leave Me Again” at 2023 CMA Awards

Kelsea Ballerini gave a heartfelt performance of her song “Leave Me Again” off her recent album Rolling Up the Welcome Mat (For Good) at the 2023 CMA Awards. Ballerini is nominated for two CMA Awards: Female Vocalist and Album of the Year for Rolling Up the Welcome Mat.

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Dressed in a gold sequin dress and standing alone on a dark stage with only a spotlight and a guitar, Ballerini gave a heart-wrenching performance full of the essence of healing. The emotional song was met with a standing ovation.

Rolling Up the Welcome Mat is Ballerini’s second EP, released as a surprise on February 14, 2023, along with a short film. The follow-up to the EP, Rolling Up the Welcome Mat (For Good), was released on August 11. The album featured seven reinterpretations of the tracks from the EP, including “Interlude (Full Version),” and “Penthouse (Healed Version),” which was also recorded live, and a new song, “How Do I Do This.”

The EP and album were largely based on the aftermath of Ballerini’s 2022 divorce from Australian singer-songwriter Morgan Evans after being married for five years. Evans released a song following their divorce as well, titled “Over For You.” Ballerini went one step further, though, releasing the 2022 album Subject to Change, which touched on her emotions during the divorce. Subsequently, Rolling Up the Welcome Mat (For Good) feels like she’s slamming the door on that portion of her life, moving on with new music and new romance.

The imagery on Rolling Up the Welcome Mat and the follow-up album display a change in Ballerini’s attitude in just one short year. The cover art for the EP shows a building through a window shrouded in fog. The sky is gray and bleak, and the room is dark. The cover art for the album presents a subtle shift: the sun is out, and the fog is slowly lifting. It’s a clear transformation from one state of mind to another. As Ballerini hinted in 2022, things are definitely “subject to change” in more ways than one.

Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

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