Kelsea Ballerini Wins Her First CMA Award, Earning Musical Event of the Year With Kenny Chesney
Kelsea Ballerini just won her very first CMA Award. "Half of My Hometown," her duet with Kenny Chesney, was named the Musical Event of the Year for 2021.
The announcement was made on Wednesday morning (Nov. 10), ahead of the evening's CMAs on ABC (8PM ET). The Top 20 single from her Kelsea also won Music Video of the Year, also announced early. Lifetime Ballerini has seven other nominations, including five in the Female Vocalist of the Year category.
Ballerini is schedule to present at the 2021 CMA Awards.
Talking to Taste of Country on Tuesday (Nov. 9), she didn't sound terribly optimistic about her chances. It wasn't clear at the time if the award would be announced on Tuesday or Wednesday, but it historically comes pre-show.
"I haven't heard," she said. "But usually no news is bad news."
Previously she told ToC how the collaboration began with a 2AM text message to Chesney:
In addition to the Ballerini and Chesney song, the 2021 CMA Awards Musical Event of the Year category included Jordan Davis and Luke Bryan's "Buy Dirt," Ryan Hurd and Maren Morris' "Chasing After You," Elle King and Miranda Lambert's "Drunk (and I Don't Wanna Go Home)" and Chris Young and Kane Brown's "Famous Friends."
Moments after it was announced that "Half of My Hometown" won the Musical Event CMA, the CMA (through GMA) shared that the song also won Music Video of the Year.
The Country Music Association is holding the 2021 CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville. The show, hosted for the first time by Luke Bryan, is returning to the venue — its home since 2006 — after one year at Music City Center due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2021 CMA Awards will begin at 8PM ET on Wednesday night (Nov. 10) and air live on ABC.
Remember: The best way to watch the CMAs is on ABC, with ToC on your phone!