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Kelsea Ballerini talks honest songwriting, preparing to host CMT awards


Renowned for her 2014 hit “Love Me Like You Mean It,” Kelsea Ballerini is gearing up to host Sunday’s CMT Music Awards for the fourth time. She is also nominated for three CMT awards, including Video of the Year.

“This year, I just want to have fun,” she said. “I think hosting solo for the fourth year, I know kind of the ropes. I’m excited to just be present and enjoy the celebration of country music.”

As she prepares to host solo, Ballerini said she is looking to add some personal touches to the show. 

“There’s a lot of trust there, and so it’s been really fun to have input on the script,” said Ballerini.

Despite being in a happy chapter in her life, singer Kelsea Ballerini said she has a special affinity for penning sad songs, saying she loves the complexities of it.

“I love writing sad songs. Even when I’m happy, I can always write a sad song,” she told “CBS Mornings.”

Ballerini is also preparing for a new album and said she is approaching it from a place of love and happiness. Reflecting on her happier state in life and love, she explained how this new chapter influences her music while she aims to maintain authenticity.

“I’ve always tried to write about my life, but I’ve always rounded the edges because I wanted it to be for everyone,” she said. “With ‘Welcome Mat,’ I wrote it for myself. It was so painfully honest, and it connected more than anything else I’ve ever put out my whole career. So I think now I’m learning in this different season of life that is more filled with love and happiness and joy and growth.”


The CMT Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Moody Center in Austin, Texas, on Sunday, April 7, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET (live) / PT (delayed) on CBS. The event is also available for live streaming and on-demand viewing on Paramount+.



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