WATCH: Kelsea Ballerini Sparkles With Two-Song Performance At ‘CMA Fest’

Kelsea Ballerini proved her superstar status at CMA Fest with performances of “Heartfirst” and her latest chart-topping single, “Half Of…

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Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

August 3, 2022

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Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Kelsea Ballerini proved her superstar status at CMA Fest with performances of “Heartfirst” and her latest chart-topping single, “Half Of My Hometown.” 

Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

The East Tennessee native allowed her charming personality to shine while performing on the Nissan Stadium stage while sporting a bedazzled jumpsuit. 

With her guitar in hard, Ballerini shared a flawless rendition of “Heartfirst,” the lead single from her forthcoming album, Subject To Change. 

YouTube video

“Could be forever or we might break/ That’s just the kind of risk that we take/ My head is yelling that I could get hurt/ But I’m gonna jump right in/ Baby, with my heart first,” she sang. 

Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Sans Kenny Chesney, Ballerini also performed a stunning version of “Half Of My Hometown” as the crowd sang the lyrics back to her in unison. 

YouTube video

Following her performance, the platinum-selling star reflected on the moment via social media. 

“Absolutely unreal last night, nashville. thank you for the biggggg love. 🤍” 

Ballerini later returned to the four-day festival to witness Lady A’s performance. 

“Artist on friday, fan on sunday. feeling like the luckiest to be both. @cma fest you were special this year…also i’m always 😍 watching my sister @hillaryscottla be magical with @ladya,” she wrote along with a photo from a Nissan Stadium suite. 

CMA Fest ABC Special was filmed in Downtown Nashville at Nissan Stadium during the star-studded, four-day festival, which took place Thursday, June 9 through Sunday, June 12.

The three-hour music event of the summer featured 30+ performances and surprise collaborations from some of Country music’s hottest stars, including Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Russell Dickerson, Lady A, Parker McCollum, Carly Pearce, Thomas Rhett, Darius Rucker, Cole Swindell, Carrie Underwood, Lainey Wilson, and Zac Brown Band and more.

Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

The Music Event of Summer, which marked the 49th year of the festival, was hosted by first-time hosts Dierks Bentley and Elle King.

“I think Elle brings so much to the table,” Bentley shared. “Onstage she’s just a riot and also super talented – a great combination of talent with comedic humor. A lot of spontaneous moments between the two of us and just a lot of laughs.” 

“I am co-hosting this whole shebang,” King added. “Not only do I get to do it with my buddy Dierks, I also get to see all these incredible performances and be a part of a big party!” 

The CMA Fest special aired at 8/7c on Wednesday, Aug. 3 via ABC Network and will stream via Hulu on Thursday (Aug. 4).

Additionally, CMA Fest will return to Nashville in 2023 for its 50th anniversary. The event will take place June 8-11 and tickets are on sale now.

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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 Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. 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.