Kelsea Ballerini Sheds Tears in Emotional "Homecoming Queen?" Music Video

By Taylor Fields

September 5, 2019

In a Q&A on Twitter earlier this week, Kelsea Ballerini revealed that her new single "homecoming queen?" is "the most emotional single [she's] released," and she wasn't kidding. The the vulnerable song is the first taste of her upcoming third album, and also comes with a tear-jerking (literally) music video.

In the "homecoming queen?" music video, Kelsea, in a red stage outfit, full face of make-up and hair extensions, returns to her dressing room after performing a concert. Then, she sits down in a chair as the camera pans around her, and with each spin, she eventually ends up in a sweater, jeans, and a bare face. Towards the end, she cries as she sings, "Not everything pretty sparkles and shines/ and even the homecoming queen cries."

In a statement, Kelsea revealed of the very personal meaning behind her new song, "'homecoming queen?' is a song about just letting yourself be yourself, and letting yourself feel whatever you feel. I think that we are living in a very filtered world right now, and especially my generation, we feel like we have to look a certain way, and be a certain way, and achieve certain things, and that if we don't, it's not right and we're not right. I think, for me, I was in a really insecure season of my life, and no one would know that because I don't show that. And then I wrote this song, and it helped make me feel better. And, now I feel better because I was able to just say, 'Wait a second, I'm actually kinda not OK right now.' And in saying that, I was able to be OK."

She adds, "For this entire record, actually, I did a lot of writing camps, or they would come on my bus for the weekend, and we'd kind of, in between shows and meet & greets, write for three days. And Jimmy Robbins and Nicole Galyon came out this particular week in February, and I kind of cracked open, and I was like, 'These are kind of the parts of my life that I'm really stressed out about right now.' And Nicole was the one who had the title 'homecoming queen,' basically being the metaphor for all of us showing our best selves all the time, and her saying like, 'I would have never known that you're in an insecure season right now via your Instagram or via your interviews or whatever.' So then I made the twist on it of 'Even the homecoming queen cries' and we wrote it, it was the first song of the weekend. And as soon as we wrote it, we were like, 'Woah, that felt like a therapy session,' and I feel like that's when you know that you have something special."

Kelsea began teasing her new music earlier this week on social media and by mailing fans mugs with a "?" on it. She also shared some of the song's details to fans on Twitter, revealing her new song to be "the most emotional single [she's] released" — and "Dancing with your best foot forward" is her favorite lyric from the tune.

And no, Kelsea was never homecoming queen. She explained, "I definitely was not, haha. It's a metaphor for somebody that seemingly has it all together and polished from the outside looking in."

As for her new album, which follows 2017's Unapologetically, fans can expect the project to be released sometime next year because she's "still making it perfect," but the LP does have a title, and it does include some collaborations (two to be exact).

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