During last year’s CMA Awards, Kelsea Ballerini got to sing her hit with an actual legend: Reba McEntire. But there was a story behind that story, as Kelsea told Country Countdown USA’s Lon Helton:
“I didn’t really know her at all. Then I got the offer to perform together, and I don’t know how that happened, but thank you to whoever made that happen. She reached out and said, ‘Hey are you in town? Can we get a drink?’ So all four of us got together, and the cool part was she said, ‘I just wanted us to hang out so the first time we hung out wasn’t on the CMA stage, because that’s really intimidating.’ And she was right. It made such a difference, there was such a level of comfort and friendship that we wouldn’t have had if we hadn’t had that hour together. We didn’t even talk about music. We just got to know each other, and that was such a pro move to make the time to do that before we shared the stage together. That’s the kind of stuff that it makes you understand why they are where they are. It’s because they do everything with such intention and integrity. What a cool thing to take an hour out of her night to make me feel comfortable on that stage.”
By the way, Reba & Kelsea got to do a second duet one week later on the CMA Country Christmas special. So obviously a great friendship was built that day.