Kelsea Ballerini and Halsey Win CMT Performance of the Year at 2021 CMT Music Awards

Kelsea Ballerini and Halsey’s performance of “The Other Girl” from the 2020 CMT Music Awards was crowned CMT Performance of…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

June 9, 2021


8:03 pm

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Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Getty Images for CMT

Kelsea Ballerini and Halsey’s performance of “The Other Girl” from the 2020 CMT Music Awards was crowned CMT Performance of the Year during the 2021 CMT Music Awards on Wednesday, June 9. 

Ballerini, who co-hosted the show alongside fellow superstar Kane Brown, took the stage to accept the honor and was overcome with excitement over the news. 

“This is my first CMT Award,” Ballerini said enthusiastically. “I’m like beaming that it’s for a performance with another woman in music that I respect and that I love.”

After explaining that the performance, which was inspired by Coyote Ugly, ended up being a hot topic genre conversation, she shared, “This tells me that you know where my roots are and that you know who I am. Thank you so much you guys!” 

Other performances nominated in the category include Brooks & Dunn and Luke Combs’ “1, 2 Many” from the 2020 CMT Music Awards, Dan + Shay’s “I Should Probably Go To Bed” from the 2020 CMT Music Awards, Jimmie Allen and Noah Cyrus’ “This Is Us” from the 2020 CMT Music Awards, Little Big Town’s “Wine, Beer, Whiskey” from the 2020 CMT Music Awards and Nathaniel Rateliff and Margo Price’s “Twinkle Twinkle” from CMT Crossroads. 

The 2021 CMT Music Awards aired on Wednesday, June 9 and featured performances from Ballerini with Paul Klein from LANY and Brown with Chris Young.

Additionally, the two-hour event included collaborations from BRELAND and Mickey Guyton, Brothers Osborne and Dierks Bentley, H.E.R. and Chris Stapleton, Ingrid Andress and JP Saxe, Lady A with Carly Pearce and Lindsay Ell, Lauren Alaina and Jon Pardi, Mickey Guyton and Gladys Knight, Miranda Lambert, Jack Ingram and Jon Randall and NEEDTOBREATHE with Carrie Underwood.

Chris Stapleton, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs and Thomas Rhett also performed while Blanco Brown, Dylan Scott, Hailey Whitters, Lainey Wilson, Niko Moon and Tenille Arts appeared on the Ram Trucks Side Stage.

Presenters included Anthony Mackie, Brett Young, Busy Philipps, Carly Pearce, Dylan Scott, Gladys Knight, Iliza Shlesinger, Little Big Town, Michael Strahan, Mickey Guyton, Restless Road, Tennessee Titans’ Taylor Lewan and Trace Adkins, as well as CMT Hot 20 Countdown hosts Cody Alan, Katie Cook and Ashley ShahAhmadi.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

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.