PHOTOS: Kelsea Ballerini and Chase Stokes Make It Red Carpet Official At CMT Music Awards

See photos of the couple’s red carpet debut.

By

Nicole Palsa

| Posted on

April 2, 2023

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Chase Stokes and Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for CMT

Kelsea Ballerini is making it red carpet official with new beau Chase Stokes, who was by her side at the 2023 CMT Music Awards in Austin, Texas. The couple was seen holding hands and wrapping their arms around each other while posing for photos on the red carpet.

Chase Stokes and Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for CMT
Chase Stokes and Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for CMT
Chase Stokes and Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CMT
Chase Stokes and Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CMT

Speculation about the pair dating began when Chase Stokes and Kelsea Ballerini were pictured together at the National College Football Championship in mid-January.

Ballerini revealed that she met Stokes by sliding into his DMs on Instagram, sharing the details during an interview on the Call Her Daddy podcast. 

“I was ready to open back up,” Ballerini told Call Her Daddy host Alex Cooper. “I just felt, why not? I’ve never really dated; I don’t know how it works. I’m like, ‘Let’s just put ourselves out there; let’s just vibe.’ And it’s been fun.”

“I’ve never seen his show, but I just knew of him, and I just swan dove right on in,” Ballerini shared. Ballerini kept the direct message pretty simple. “His handle is ‘@hichasestokes,’ and I said, ‘Hi, Chase Stokes,’” she explained. 

Stokes confirmed his relationship with Ballerini during an appearance on the TODAY Show on March 3. 

YouTube video

The next day, he was by her side at NBC’s Saturday Night Live when the country star made her performance debut on the iconic show. In her recap of SNL, Ballerini shared a few photos of the pair.

Ballerini recently finalized her divorce from country star Morgan Evans in mid-November 2022.

Co-hosted by Kane Brown and Kelsea Ballerini, the 2023 CMT Music Awards will feature performances from Blake Shelton, Carly Pearce, Carrie Underwood, Cody Johnson, Jelly Roll, Keith Urban, Kelsea Ballerini, Lainey Wilson, and Tyler Hubbard. 

Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by John Shearer, Getty for CMT
Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by John Shearer, Getty for CMT

Additionally, the show will feature one-of-a-kind collaborations, including a 10th anniversary of CMT Next Women of Country celebration featuring Alanis Morissette with Lainey Wilson, Ingrid Andress, Madeline Edwards, and Morgan Wade. Gwen Stefani and Carly Pearce will join forces for a special collaboration, while Kane Brown and Katelyn Brown are set to team up for the television premiere of their chart-topping duet, “Thank God.” 

The Black Crowes and Darius Rucker will deliver a first-time collaboration of “She Talks To Angels,” and Wynonna Judd and Ashley McBryde will also take the stage together for a world premiere performance. 

The show will also include a tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan from Gary Clark, Jr. and a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute featuring Billy Gibbons, Chuck Leavell, Cody Johnson, Paul Rodgers, Slash & Warren Haynes and LeAnn Rimes & Wynonna Judd as honorary “Honkettes.”

Rising stars Avery Anna, Chapel Hart, Jackson Dean, Lily Rose, Nate Smith, and Megan Moroney will make their CMT Music Awards performance debut on the Ram Trucks Side Stage.  

Presenters include Carly Pearce, Carrie Underwood, Charles Esten, Dixie D’Amelio, Dustin Lynch, HARDY, Ian Bohen + Jen Landon (Yellowstone), Jon Pardi, LeAnn Rimes, Madison Bailey (Outer Banks), Max Thieriot (Fire Country), Megan Thee Stallion, Noah Schnapp (Stranger Things), Parker McCollum, Peter Frampton, Shania Twain, Steve Howey (True Lies) and Travis Kelce.

The coveted awards show will air live from the Moody Center in Austin, Texas on Sunday, April 2 at 8/7c on CBS. Additionally, it will stream live and on-demand via Paramount+.

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Nicole Palsa

Written by

Nicole Palsa

Nicole Palsa is a freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee. Since 2012, she has written about the newcomers, superstars, and legends of country music for publications including Music Mayhem, Country Now, and Country Music Tattle Tale. Palsa has served as a volunteer guide with Musicians On Call since 2016 and is a Troubadour member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications and her Bachelor of Arts degree in French. In addition to being a devoted country music fan, Nicole is a family historian and genealogist who can often be found in stacks of research. She is also an avid traveler with a passion for wildlife and nature photography.