Fans Speculate About Kelsea Ballerini and Chase Stokes Following The ‘Outer Banks’ Star’s Latest Instagram Post

Kelsea Ballerini recently performed at the National College Football Championship at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California where she headlined the…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

January 13, 2023


3:12 pm

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Chase Stokes, Kelsea Ballerini; Photos via Instagram

Kelsea Ballerini recently performed at the National College Football Championship at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California where she headlined the Allstate Championship Tailgate and stuck around to take in the game with Outer Banks stars Chase Stokes, Austin North, and Jonathan Daviss, social media personality Noah Beck, and more. 

After the game, Ballerini, 29, and Stokes, 30, were pictured together in a group shot inside the Raising Cane’s suite in a photo shared by Todd Graves, Founder and CEO of Raising Canes Chicken Fingers.  

Kelsea Ballerini and Chase Stokes commented on Graves’s photo. She shared three white hearts, while Stokes wrote, “Appreciate the hospitality my man!”

The photo sparked conversation around the web and in the CelebWivesofNashville forum on Reddit. 

On Friday (Jan. 13), Stokes added to the speculation when he shared a “lil recap” on Instagram that featured a photo of him and Ballerini watching the game together. He tagged her in the post and she responded, “go vols 🙈,” staying true to her East Tennessee roots. 

Fans flocked to the comments section of the post. 

“KELSEA AND CHASE. 🚢,” wrote one Instagram user, using a ship emoji which seemingly references the commonly used term “shipping” that describes the “action of wishing for two people to enter a relationship,” according to Urban Dictionary. 

Other users commented, “is this a soft launch” and questioned, “soft launch?” 

Chase Stokes previously commented on Kelsea Ballerini’s recent photo dump on Instagram and the pair proceeded to banter back and forth within the comments. 

2023 is off to a running start for Kelsea Ballerini, who enjoyed many highs and lows in 2022, including the release of her fourth studio album, a sold-out headlining tour, and more. 

She also endured a public divorce from country star Morgan Evans. The couple’s divorce was finalized in mid-November of 2022 on the same day Ballerini earned a GRAMMY nomination and picked up the keys to her new home.

Kelsea Ballerini will bring her Heartfirst Tour to the United Kingdom. Kicking off on Feb. 23, the four-date run will visit Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham, and London.

Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Mary Kouw, CBS
Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Mary Kouw, CBS

The hitmaker will then embark on the second leg of her HEARTFIRST Tour, which will kick off on March 6 at History in Toronto, ON. The nine-show intimate outing is scheduled to continue through March 18, where the trek will wrap up in Pittsburgh, PA at Stage AE. 

Both of Ballerini’s upcoming stints are in support of her fourth studio album, Subject To Change, which arrived on September 23, 2022. The project features 15 tracks, including her current single “If You Go Down (I’m Goin’ Down Too),” fan-favorite tunes “HEARTFIRST,” “What I Have,” “Doin’ My Best,” “Love Is A Cowboy,” as well as her collaboration with Kelly Clarkson and Carly Pearce, “You’re Drunk, Go Home.” 

“HEARTFIRST,” the lead single of Subject To Change, was recently nominated for a 2023 GRAMMY Awards in the category of Best Country Solo Performance.

Later this year, Ballerini will hit the road with her longtime friend and musical hero, and “Half Of My Hometown” collaborator, Kenny Chesney, on the I Go Back Tour. The trek will visit 21 cities and will kick off on March 25 in State College, PA.

“Music has taken me so many incredible places,” Ballerini said. “Around the world, singing with some of my heroes in pop, alternative and contemporary music, but singing with Kenny is going home. He was the only voice I heard on ‘half of my hometown,’ and when he comes in, it’s just like hitting the Knoxville city limits. So to be able to go out to those cities like the place he and I grew up with an artist who’s accomplished what he has, it’s a lot like going home.”

Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Mary Kouw, CBS
Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Mary Kouw, CBS

Upcoming Kelsea Ballerini Tour Dates


2 – BOK Center – Tulsa, OK (w/ The Judds: The Final Tour)

3 – T-Mobile Center – Kansas City, MO (w/ The Judds: The Final Tour)

4 – Chaifetz Arena – St. Louis, MO (w/ The Judds: The Final Tour)

22 – O2 Ritz Manchester – Manchester, UK

23 – Queen Margaret Union – Glasgow, UK

24 – O2 Institute Birmingham – Birmingham, UK

25 – O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire – London, UK


6 – Toronto, ON – History

7 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit

8 – Columbus, OH – Palace Theatre

10 – Minneapolis, MN – The Armory

11 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave/Eagles Club

12 – Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room at Old National Centre

15 – Cleveland, OH – The Agora

17 – Atlantic City, NJ – Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena

18 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE

25 – State College, PA – Bryce Jordan Center*

30 – Wichita, KS – INTRUST Bank Arena*


1 – Oklahoma City, OK – Paycom Center*

6 – Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Arena*

8 – Wilkes-Barre Township, PA – Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza*

12 – Birmingham, AL – Legacy Arena at the BJCC*

14 – Jacksonville, FL – Daily’s Place Amphitheater*

16 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Tortuga

25 – Lexington, KY – Rupp Arena*

27 – Greenville, SC – Bon Secours Wellness Arena*

29 – Greensboro, NC – Greensboro Coliseum*


4 – Moline, IL – Vibrant Arena at The Mark*

6 – Grand Rapids, MI – Van Andel Arena*

9 – Grand Forks, ND – The Alerus Center*

11 – Sioux Falls, SD – Denny Sanford Premier Center*

13 – Lincoln, NE  – Pinnacle Bank Arena*

18 – Fort Wayne, IN – Allen County War Memorial Coliseum*

20 – Evansville, IN – Ford Center*

25 – Charleston, SC – Credit One Stadium*

27 – Orange Beach, AL – The Wharf*


July 22 – Des Moines, IA – Hy-Vee Indy Race

For a complete list of upcoming tour dates, visit Kelsea Ballerini’s official website.

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.