Kelsea Ballerini Shares Throwback Video With 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Queens

By Kelly Fisher

March 25, 2024

Photo: Getty Images

Kelsea Ballerini shared a “lil throwback” on her Instagram story on Monday morning (March 25) to announce that she’ll be a guest on RuPaul’s Drag Race this week. The award-winning artist revealed her upcoming appearance on the show with a throwback video of her vibrant 2023 CMT Music Awards performance with queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Ballerini and the queens took the stage together as she performed “If You Go Down (I’m Goin’ Down Too),” one of the fan-favorite anthems on her latest full-length album, Subject To Change, which she quickly followed with her EP Rolling Up The Welcome Mat. Ballerini previously opened up about the controversy that followed in her interview for the 2023 TIME 100 Next list cover story.

“I would say, for anything in life, when there's a ‘group of people’ — and I use ‘group’ in quotes — one person cannot speak for everyone,” she said at that time. “That is true for country music. I am in control of standing in what I believe in — and being a kind, good person who works towards making the world a more heard, safe, and inclusive place in whatever capacity I can do. I wish I could change a lot of things. But I can just change myself and the community around me. And I am making sure that my intentions are good and pure.

“Oh yeah, there was (pushback after taking the stage with drag queens)!” Ballerini continued. “At the time, a lot of anti-drag legislation was being proposed in Tennessee. I was not only hosting the CMT awards, but I had a performance for a song of mine that is all about friendship and standing up for people that you love, and being ride-or-die for your people. I realized that that would be a really good, important, loud, big stage to make that statement on, and CMT was all for it.”

Ballerini is set to return to solo host the 2024 CMT Music Awards, returning to Texas in early April. The “HEARTFIRST” star will also perform that night, and is one of the top nominees at the fan-voted show. Ballerini reminded fans in a video shared on another slide of her Instagram story on Monday that she’s up for Video of the Year (“If You Go Down (I’m Goin’ Down Too)”), Female Video of the Year (“Penthouse”), and Live Performance of the Year (“If You Go Down (I’m Goin’ Down Too)” at the 2023 CMT Music Awards). See the full list of nominees here.

“I couldn’t be more excited to be back for my fourth year with my CMT family to host this year’s CMT MUSIC AWARDS in Austin, Texas,” she previously said in a statement. “Hosting an awards show that celebrates the music that the fans love most has been an honor and I know this year will be another unforgettable night.”

The 2024 CMT Music Awards will return to Moody Center in Austin, Texas, taking place on Sunday, April 7, and airing live (8:00-11:00 PM, ET/delayed PT). Viewers can watch on CBS and stream live and on demand on Paramount+.

Kelsea Ballerini
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