WATCH: Thomas Rhett Joins Kelsea Ballerini For ‘Half Of My Hometown’ Duet

Kelsea Ballerini celebrated her 28th birthday on Sunday evening with a very special surprise guest during her show with the…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

September 13, 2021


10:25 am

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Kelsea Ballerini, Thomas Rhett; Photos via Instagram

Kelsea Ballerini celebrated her 28th birthday on Sunday evening with a very special surprise guest during her show with the Jonas Brothers. 

The singer/songwriter was joined by Thomas Rhett at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, Illinois for her CMA nominated single, “Half Of My Hometown.” 

Rhett joined the birthday girl on stage to lend his vocals to the nostalgia-filled track. 


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A post shared by Kelsea Central (@kelseacentral)

Ballerini documented the moment on Instagram with a series of photos. 

“Half of my hometown, but always on the hometeam. thanks for singing with me tonight TR,” she wrote. 


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A post shared by Kelsea Ballerini (@kelseaballerini)

This isn’t the pair’s first time collaborating. Ballerini and Rhett previously co-hosted the primetime CMA Fest special and Ballerini joins Rhett on the title track of his Center Point Road album. 

“We’ve toured together, written together, been insecure and celebrated together, had double dates, and have just become like brother and sister,” Ballerini once told PEOPLE of her friendship with Rhett. “It’s really a gift to have someone in the same industry as you that you can have the real conversations with and look up to. He’s a good one, and I’m super grateful for his friendship.”

YouTube video

The original recording of “Half Of My Hometown” appears on Ballerini’s kelsea album and features vocals from country superstar Kenny Chesney. 

The collaboration was recently nominated for CMA Musical Event of the Year and Music Video of the Year. 

Fans can catch Kelsea Ballerini on tour with the Jonas Brothers through late October. 

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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.