Kelsea Ballerini performed with drag queens at awards show just a month after state banned drag queens
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@CMT
While it may not be the biggest event on the calendar, the CMT Music Awards often provide a lot of entertainment to country music lovers.
In what is uniquely a fan-voted awards show, many famous faces in the genre gather to see if they can scoop an award.
One of those who had a big night at the CMT's last night was Kelsea Ballerini, who announced her relationship with Chase Stokes before the action had even got underway on the red carpet.
Ballerini was in the spotlight once more at the start of the show, as she delivered a powerful message about US school shootings in her role as co-host.
In particular, she touched on the recent Nashville school shooting which saw six people innocently killed.
Ballerini called for change to help prevent similar travesties happening again in the future.
"I pray deeply that the closeness and the community that we feel for the next few hours through music can soon turn into action - like, real action - that moves us forward together to create change for the safety of our kids and our loved ones," she said.
Another powerful moment Ballerini delivered during the show was her performance of 'If You Go Down', alongside RuPaul's Drag Race stars Kennedy Davenport, Jan Sport, Olivia Lux and Manila Luzon.
It was quite the moment, as Tennessee - the state where the 2023 CMT Music Awards was held - passed a legislation which essentially banned drag shows last month.
Despite that, Ballerini decided to go ahead with the performance in what was a powerful stance for representation.
Following the performance, Entertainment Tonight spoke to the drag queens about their performance.
"Just like all these amazing country music artists, we drag queens are also artists. And we deserve a space to be ourselves, express ourselves, and create something wonderful for everyone to enjoy," Luzon said.
Meanwhile, Lux heaped praised on Ballerini for promoting the community on such a big stage.
"Kelsea made it really clear in the rehearsal room and took even during right before the stage that she was like take up that space, you know, this is your time as well, and amplify the fact that you're here," Lux said.
"Even the song, if you're going down, I'm going down too -- it is about the celebration of being a community.
"And I think that's what we did on the stage tonight. And I really hope that transcended some people as well. It felt like it did."