Kelsea Ballerini and Morgan Evans divorced in 2022
Kelsea Ballerini broke down in tears while singing one of the emotional tracks from her tell-all EP, Rolling Up The Welcome Mat, which gives insight into her seemingly less-than-perfect marriage of almost five years to fellow country music artist, Morgan Evans.
Ballerini told the crowd, admitting when she put the EP out in February, she didn't have any intention of performing the songs live. She said, "I really didn't want to, because it hurt," but then added, "And it doesn't anymore."
She went on to say how she was crying because she was "so thankful" that the fans made her start singing the songs. Ballerini then reflected on how since the first time she played songs from her EP in England, back in February it felt different to how it does now.
Less than two weeks ago, Ballerini ran off stage to share a snog with boyfriend, Outer Banks actor, Chase Stokes also while mid-way through singing Penthouse.
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Kelsea got emotional during “Penthouse” last night and she explained why… to put it simply, “it doesn’t hurt anymore” ❤️🩹 pic.twitter.com/X0DfBPzRNh— Kelsea Central • fan account (@KelseaCentral) July 8, 2023
Earlier this month, Ballerini showed off her new tattoo, with fans convinced it has a meaning linked to her healing. The new tattoo looks like three mountains, a sun and two birds flying overhead, which could be a reference to Mountain With A View also from Rolling Up The Welcome Mat.
Broken up into chapters and released on Valentine’s Day, the first track Mountain With A View includes lyrics that refer to the demise of a relationship after marriage:
"It's 7am and I'm on a mountain with a view / I'm the only one, alone, at a table meant for two / I'm wearin' the ring still, but I think I'm lyin' / Sometimes you forget yours / I think we're done tryin' / I realise you loved me much more at 23 / I think that this is when it's over for me."
Since January, Ballerini has been linked to Stokes. The pair first sparked dating rumours after he posted a photo of them getting cosy at a college football game. They made their red carpet debut at the CMT Music Awards in April and have not been at a loss for public displays of affection.
In a new interview with Stylecaster, Ballerini shared, "The thing that we’ve decided, and to each their own, is when you’re with someone that you feel secure with and that you’re proud to be with, why not share it?"
"He’s also a Virgo; we’re both Labrador Retrievers in human form," she added. "It doesn’t take much conversation to be on the same page. It’s been half a year and it’s been great."
In August 2022, Ballerini announced she and Evans were divorcing after almost five years of marriage. The country singers first met in March 2016 while co-hosting the CMC Awards and wed in December 2017 in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico after a year-long engagement.
“Who you marry is not who you divorce,” Ballerini said. “I would read situations of what people had thought of me or what people had heard about me, or people’s interactions of meeting me, and they were negative. That guts me; that shit really gets to me.
“I always thought of myself as one thing, which was a glittery, palatable blonde that sings country music. I’ve realised over the last few years, as I’ve woken up to myself, and really stepped into my womanhood, that I’m really open to discovering more of myself.”
Ballerini sang in church and school choirs as a child. She wrote her first song at 12 and moved to Nashville three years later. She released her debut self-titled EP in 2014 and her first studio album, The First Time, the following year. With the album's first three singles all reaching number one on the Billboard Country Airplay chart, Ballerini became the first new female artist to send her first three releases to the top of the charts. The album also reached #33 on the Australian ARIA Albums Chart.
Her second studio album, Unapologetically, followed in 2017. It debuted at #7 on the US Billboard 200 Chart and later, received a ‘Best Country Album’ GRAMMY nomination. She has since gone on to have major chart-topping success, with 25 gold and platinum certifications from the RIAA to date, garnered multiple GRAMMY Award nominations, a long list of awards, all accumulating to more than four billion total streams.
Her third and fourth studio albums, kelsea and ballerini, were both released in 2020. Her 90s-inspired release, Subject To Change followed in 2022. However, Ballerini told Stylecaster that she considers Rolling Up The Welcome Mat her big break.
“I’m like, ‘Why now’? And the answer I keep getting is because when you honour yourself—and you do the right thing for everyone—but you’re really honouring yourself, you create the space within your soul and your body and your heart to welcome what’s meant for you,” Ballerini said. “So, I do feel like there’s some kismet stuff happening just because I have space for it now.
“I’ve done this for a decade. I’ve done the work. But the eyeballs on the rest of my life is new, so I’m giving myself a lot of grace,” she added, explaining that, of the two options to put up a barrier or maintain an openness with fans, she chooses the latter. “All the things that I’ve always done are because that’s actually who I am at my core. [But] I am actively working to protect the normalcy.”
Keep up to date with Kelsea Ballerini on her Facebook page here.