Award Shows April 03, 2023
Kelsea Ballerini & Chase Stokes Make It Red-Carpet Official at the CMT Music Awards
Kelsea Ballerini and Chase Stokes took their relationship to the next level at the 2023 CMT Music Awards.
The couple made their red-carpet debut at the award show, with Kelsea stunning in a corset-style light gray dress, and Chase looking handsome in a navy button-down shirt and matching pants.
Ballerini and Stokes didn’t stop there! Just check out these sweet moments of the couple backstage at Moody Center in Austin.
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Kelsea hosted alongside Kane Brown, and things got serious during the show as she used her platform to address the recent school shooting in Nashville.
She told the audience, "On March 27, 2023, three 9-year-olds, Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney and Hallie Scruggs, along with Dr. Katherine Koonce, Cynthia Peak and Mike Hill, walked into the Covenant School and didn't walk out.”
"The community of sorrow over this, and the 130 mass shootings in the U.S. this year alone, stretches from coast to coast,” she said.
Ballerini shared her own experience with gun violence when she was a teen, "I wanted to personally stand up here and share this moment because on August 21, 2008, I watched Ryan McDonald, my 15-year-old classmate at Central High School, lose his life to a gun in our cafeteria," she said.
"Tonight's broadcast is dedicated to the ever-growing list of families, friends, survivors, witnesses, and responders whose lives continue to forever be changed by gun violence.”
"I pray deeply that the closeness and the community that we feel through the next few hours of music can soon turn into action — like, real action — that moves us forward together to create change for the safety of our kids and our loved ones.”
She also sent a political message with her performance of “If You Go Down (I’m Goin’ Down Too).” Kelsea danced alongside four contestants from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” as she sang the song. While the show took place in Texas, the singer appeared to be sending a statement to her home state of Tennessee for attempting to ban drag shows with children present.
Ballerini shared a pic from the performance on Instagram, writing, “If you go down, i’m going down too 🏳️🌈 // thank you to these iconic queens… for celebrating love, self expression and performance.” She tagged Manila Luzon, Kennedy Davenport, Jan Sport, and Olivia Lux, as well as CMT.