Kelsea Ballerini Details Her Heart-Stopping First Kiss With Boyfriend Chase Stokes On ‘Call Her Daddy’ Podcast

“I thought I was going to pass out,” Ballerini recalled.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

November 29, 2023


1:38 pm

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Chase Stokes and Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMA

Nearly one year ago, Kelsea Ballerini sat down with Alex Cooper, host of the popular podcast Call Her Daddy, to have a raw and honest discussion about her divorce from Morgan Evans. At the very end of the conversation, Ballerini started to tiptoe around finding new happiness in what was just a budding relationship with Outer Banks actor, Chase Stokes, at the time. Now that Stokes is officially a prominent person in her life, Ballerini had a lot more to share about their strong connection during her return to the podcast in a brand-new episode that dropped on Wednesday, Nov. 29.

Ballerini happily dove into questions surrounding her love story with Stokes, including the heart-stopping first kiss that made their very first in-person meeting a memorable one. 

How They Met

“So I slid in the DM’s December 1, 1:30 AM,” Ballerini said as she recounted how things started to blossom between the two of them. “We started texting and then FaceTiming and all that. Met him in person January 7th. We were supposed to have our first date, the eighth, but I was in LA and I was like, ‘crazy that I’m here and we’re not in the same room.’ He was like, ‘drop your pin.’”

Chase Stokes and Kelsea Ballerini attend the 2023 CMT Music Awards at Moody Center on April 02, 2023 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
Chase Stokes and Kelsea Ballerini attend the 2023 CMT Music Awards at Moody Center on April 02, 2023 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)

She went on to say that once Stokes obtained her location, he made his way to a party she was playing at and texted her immediately upon his arrival. 

“I’m Sweating Just Thinking About This”

“He was like, ‘I’m in valet.’ And guys, I’m sweating just thinking about this. I thought I was going to pass out. You can have chemistry over the phone, but then when you see each other, you’re like, what’s the height difference? Are we… I didn’t know what to do. So I walked out to his car and he got out of his Bronco.”

After the pair of strong females took a moment to swoon over Stokes, Ballerini continued, “He hopped out of his Bronco and he did not say a word to me. He grabbed my face, and he kissed me and he pulled my face away and he said, ‘thank God you’re real.’ And I was like, ‘Oh…,’” she said while reenacting the shocked reaction from that night. “It was just so redeeming for my experience of men in relationships and just how sweet it was.”

From that moment, on the couple has continued to go steady and are often seen supporting each other through their individual endeavors. 

Making A Surprise Appearance On Alex Cooper’s The Unwell Tour

Kelsea Ballerini - The Unwell Tour; Photo by Aaron Idelson
Kelsea Ballerini – The Unwell Tour; Photo by Aaron Idelson

About a week before the latest Call Her Daddy episode dropped, Ballerini made a surprise appearance at the Ryman Auditorium for the last night of Alex Cooper’s live touring run dubbed The Unwell Tour. While on stage, she delivered a special acoustic performance of “If You Go Down” off her Subject To Change album and “Blindsided” off her GRAMMY-nominated EP, Rolling Up The Welcome Mat.

According to a recent press release, following the show, Ballerini further showed her love for Cooper and the podcast as she said, “Watching The Unwell tour was like watching a perfectly constructed one-person comedy show on Broadway and a TED talk about the things women should no longer hush, all in one. Sprinkle in some pre-wedding spice and that’s a show like nothing I’ve ever seen! I’m so proud of Alex!”

Debuts New Song At The Grand Ole Opry

Kelsea Ballerini spent the majority of the past year showcasing the stories from Rolling Up the Welcome Mat and Rolling Up The Welcome Mat (For Good) – her latest collections that encompass the varying emotions she went through amid the difficult divorce. However, during her recent visit to the Grand Ole Opry, she made it clear that she is ready to move onto the next chapter as she debuted an unreleased song off her forthcoming album.

“To The Men Who Love Women After Heartbreak”

While standing on stage at the historic venue on Tuesday, November 28, the “Penthouse” singer revealed that the new tune is titled “To The Men Who Love Women After Heartbreak.” This marked her performance debut of the song, however, Ballerini had already given fans a sneak peek a few days prior when she posted a snippet to her Instagram.

“Because I just wrote this song, it’s new, and I made the very impulsive decision to just put the chorus out on Thanksgiving and I felt like I should just probably follow through,” she shared in front of the audience. “The reality is I’ve been singing about a chapter of my life that is far past me now, and I’m writing about the chapter of my life that I’m in and it looks very different and I kind of wanted to share a bit of it now.”

Chase Stokes and Kelsea Ballerini attend the 2023 CMT Music Awards at Moody Center on April 02, 2023 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)
Chase Stokes and Kelsea Ballerini attend the 2023 CMT Music Awards at Moody Center on April 02, 2023 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)

Ballerini went on to say that she is “very gently” and “slowly” working on her next album, but it could be some time before we see the end result as she admitted, “I really want to take the time to handle it with care.”

Joined By Karen Fairchild and Hillary Lindsey

To help her deliver the heartfelt lyrics, she was joined by the two women who helped her write it, Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town and hitmaker Hillary Lindsey.

“I couldn’t not sing this song for the first time with two of the women that I wrote it with, who happened to be two of the reasons that I am who I am as a songwriter and artist,” she said as she welcomed the female singer/songwriters to the stage. “We wrote this last month and I love you and I love you and thank you,” Ballerini told each of the women beside her. “This is called ‘The Men That Love Women After Heartbreak.’”

As the acoustic guitar strummed behind the three women, the Knoxville, Tennessee native began to sing the poetic lyrics, it quickly became clear that her boyfriend was largely an inspiration to this song that was penned as a “thank you” letter to the people who are come into the picture and end up healing a broken heart, much like Stokes did for her. 

“To the men that love women after heartbreak / to the tears that catch but didn’t make them fall / to the strong and sturdy shoulders helping her get older / And the ones that get forever after all,“ Ballerini sings wholeheartedly before diving into the chorus, “It ain’t fair and it’s hard to understand / It ain’t easy but you do it because you can / You don’t see my heart as secondhand / And baby that’s why it takes a man / To love women after heartbreak.”

Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Catherine Powell
Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Catherine Powell

This performance marked one of Kelsea Ballerini’s last of the year. She will close things out with an appearance at the 2023 All for the Hall benefit concert featuring headliners Keith Urban and Vince Gill on December 5.

To stay up to date on all of Kelsea Ballerini’s upcoming shows, keep an eye on her official website HERE

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.