Kelsea Ballerini Wins First-Ever CMA Awards; Takes Home 2 Awards

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

It was a big night for Kelsea Ballerini who took him not one, but two CMA awards before the show even began.

Before the 2021 CMA Awards aired on ABC, it was announced that Ballerini won Musical Event of the Year and Music Video of the Year for her hit single “half of my hometown,” featuring fellow East Tennessee superstar Kenny Chesney.

“I’m so proud that my first two CMAs are for a song that represents my roots and also celebrates the dream that made me leave to chase it down,” Ballerini said in a statement. “I remember growing up in Knoxville watching the CMAs…So this feels surreal and special to share this with so many of my songwriting friends, and my hometown hero Kenny Chesney. I can’t think of a better moment to keep on my shelf forever.”

“Growing up in East Tennessee, it’s a deeper kind of home. You have to have lived it to really understand,” adds Chesney. “Kelsea knows that, knows how hard it is to leave to chase a dream like music. It’s what made being part of “half of my hometown” so special! I know that feeling of everyone having an opinion, hating leaving all that love and needing to go out and find your place in the songs.”

In addition to her two wins,  Ballerini will release her debut poetry collection, Feel Your Way Through, on November 16, 2021.

Tune in to the 55th Annual CMA Awards live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on November 10 at 7pm CT/8 pm ET. Check out the video of “half my hometown” below.

Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

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