Red-hot country starlet Kelsea Ballerini took a quick break from her hosting duties at the 2023 CMT Music Awards to showcase her newest tune at country radio, 'If You Go Down (I'm Going Down Too).'
During a red carpet interview ahead of the show, Ballerini teased that there would be a "glittery, bright, celebratory, happy and important" surprise during tonight's performance.
Serving as country music's newest best-friend anthem, Ballerini was decked out in the 60s-inspired looks to match the accompanying music video released earlier this week.
Her CMT performance notably featured a group of drag queens. Further reinforcing the song's message, Ballerini took the chance to use 'If You Go Down' as an act of solidarity, most likely in regard to the recent drag bans taking place in her home state of Tennessee.
Halfway through the performance, the singer-songstress ditched her green trench coat to reveal a floral bodysuit and went on the move, working the full length of the stage with her gang of girlfriends behind her.
During her spot, the Moody Center was full of confetti, rainbow colours and fun abound.
'If You Go Down' was included on Ballerini's long-awaited 2022 album, SUBJECT TO CHANGE, which has helped propel the Knoxville, Tennessee native higher into the upper echelons of country music stardom.
Ballerini was also nominated for Female Video of the Year at the 2023 CMT Music Awards for the energetic, pop-driven 'HEARTFIRST.'
While the Gold-certified track only peaked at No. 22 on the country charts, the accompanying music video sees Ballerini take the leap into new love... literally. 'HEARTFIRST' was also in the initial list of CMT Video of the Year nominees.
The CMT award-winner surprised fans earlier this year with the release of her deeply personal, autobiographical EP, Rolling Up The Welcome Mat.
Throughout the six-song project, the singer-songwriter documents the journey through both marriage and divorce to Australian-born country singer Morgan Evans.
The highly acclaimed EP has brought Ballerini a healthy dose of TikTok virality and a performing slot on Saturday Night Live over the last few months.
Ballerini recently wrapped up the second leg of her "HEARTFIRST TOUR," which took her across the pond to Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham and London, as well as to plenty of cities stateside.
She will embark on the third installment of the trek this summer, setting up camp in California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and more.
While 2023 has already shown that it will be keeping Ballerini more than busy, tonight's phenomenal performance, as well as her signature charisma and charm alongside co-host Kane Brown, serves as a reminder that Ballerini is the new-age female country star that we've all been waiting for. Everyone, clear the way.
For more on the 2023 CMT Awards, see below: