Kelsea Ballerini Pumped to Play With Pre-Teen Prodigy on ‘CMA Country Christmas’
Kelsea Ballerini loves Christmas music, so it’s no surprise that she was excited about 2016's CMA Country Christmas — especially because she gets to perform with a 12-year-old genius. The singer says she was thrilled to find out she’d sing with Joey Alexander, a jazz pianist prodigy.
“He’s incredible,” Ballerini gushes in an interview with Taste of Country. “Seeing him on TV and seeing him on the Grammys and hearing his stuff is one thing, but just being in the room with him and just watching him be so passionate and so talented at such a young age is so inspiring!”
She and Alexander perform “Favorite Things” together at the show, which airs Monday night (Nov. 28) on ABC, and Ballerini is also performing “Christmas Song” by herself. She's also super excited to see Kelly Clarkson, who she admits she might have an obsession with. Though they’ve met and emailed a little bit, Ballerini says she hasn’t quite established a firm friendship with her ... yet.
“I think we might be, like, on the verge of being friends,” she explains, noting that she wrote a letter to Clarkson asking her to come by her dressing room and say hi.
2016's CMA Country Christmas features a slew of country’s biggest artists, like Brad Paisley, Kacey Musgraves, Rascal Flatts, Brett Eldredge, Loretta Lynn, and more. The show will also host guest performers Audra Day and Idina Menzel, who will both perform with host Jennifer Nettles.
Your Guide to the Best Country Christmas Albums of 2016!
See Country Stars With Santa