Kelsea Ballerini Celebrates 30th Birthday With Performance Of “Penthouse (Healed Version)” At 2023 MTV VMAs

“I feel like it’s been such a huge year in my personal life and in my career and I feel really happy to be able to just present that tonight on this show and be here,” Ballerini said.

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Andrew Wendowski

Andrew Wendowski is the Founder and CEO of Music Mayhem. As a 29-year-old entrepreneur, he oversees content as the Editor-In-Chief for the independent brand. Wendowski, who splits time between Philadelphia, Penn., and Nashville, Tenn., has an extensive background in multimedia. Before launching Music Mayhem in 2014, he worked as a highly sought-after photojournalist and tour photographer, collaborating with such labels as Interscope Records and Republic Records. He has captured photos of some of the biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Metallica, Harry Styles, P!NK, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Shania Twain, and hundreds more. Wendowski’s photos and freelance work have appeared nationwide and can be seen everywhere from ad campaigns to various publications, including Billboard and Rolling Stone. When Wendowski isn’t running Music Mayhem, he enjoys spending time at concerts, traveling, and capturing photos.

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Posted on September 13, 2023

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Kelsea Ballerini; Photo Courtesy of MTV/YouTube

Kelsea Ballerini celebrated her milestone 30th birthday with a stunning performance of “Penthouse (Healed Version)” at the 2023 MTV VMAs on Tuesday (Sept. 12).

Live from the Prudential Center in New Jersey, the country superstar took to the VMAs outdoor stage donning a white dress as she began to perform the healed version of “Penthouse,” which appears on her latest project, Rolling Up The Welcome Mat (For Good).

Joined by a small orchestra, Ballerini belted out the lyrics to the emotional ballad. As the performance continued, Ballerini proved she is moving past heartbreak as she sings through the pain of divorce and reveals that she has moved on from her ex-husband with a new lover.

YouTube video

“And it hurts putting shit in a box/ And now we don’t talk/ And it stings rolling up the welcome mat/ Knowing you got half,” Ballerini sang in sync with the massive crowd as she pointed into the camera before pausing for a moment as the song reached its climax.

Ballerini’s white dress was then disappears into a cloud of smoke to reveal a black mini-dress beneath it, a symbolic representation of her transformation as she approached the ending of her remarkable performance.

“I kissed someone new last night/ And now I don’t care where you’re sleeping, baby/ We got along real nice until I wanted out, now I know you hate me/ One day, the curtain started coming down/ We changed the second we were moving out/ I guess wrong can look alright/ When you’re playing home in a penthouse, baby/ ‘Cause were playing home in a penthouse, baby,” Ballerini sang.

As her performance concluded, she danced around the stage with a big smile on her face as fans cheered her on.

Watch Kelsea Ballerini First-Ever MTV VMAs Performance Below

The performance marked Ballerini’s debut at the MTV VMAs.

Arrived To MTV VMAs With Boyfriend Chase Stokes

Kelsea Ballerini arrived to the MTV VMAs red carpet in style alongside her boyfriend Outer Banks star Chase Stokes. The couple donned fiery red matching ensembles and even shared a kiss in front of dozens of photographers on the VMAs pink carpet.

“I’m not sure, I really processed it all. I’m overstimulated in every way. Just to be able to perform at an all genre show like this, and represent country music, hopefully well, but also just myself,” Ballerini shared on the red carpet with the official MTV VMAs correspondent. “I feel like it’s been such a huge year in my personal life and in my career and I feel really happy to be able to just present that tonight on this show and be here. My mom’s here, my man’s here and my friends are here — I’m happy.”

Chase Stokes, Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for MTV
Chase Stokes, Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for MTV

Homecoming Concert

Ballerini’s performance at the coveted awards show comes just hours after the East Tennessee native announced that she will be returning to Knoxville for a special homecoming concert, which will take place on Thursday, November 2

Ballerini announced the news on Tuesday morning (Sept. 12) in a video featuring her beloved dog, Dibs. In the clip, the country superstar and her four-legged pal are seen hopping in her jeep and making their way to the University of Tennessee campus in Knoxville. They pass iconic Knoxville landmarks such as the Sunsphere, the historic theatre district, Neyland Stadium, and more. Decked out in their best Tennessee Volunteers gear, they wind up inside the arena that Ballerini will soon headline where they come face-to-face with Smokey, the UT mascot.

The one night only event will feature special guests Ingrid Andress and Georgia Webster.   

“Throughout the last decade and four albums, there has been a consistent ode to my hometown. Whether it be lyrically like in ‘half of my hometown’ or celebrating milestone moments in venues like my high school, the Tennessee Theater, or the Civic Center, it’s always been incredibly important to me to go back to the place that let me go to chase my dream. Playing Thompson-Boling has been on my bucket list since I was a little kid watching my favorite musicians come through town and is the perfect place to celebrate such a bookmark year and kick off a new level of touring.”

2023 MTV VMAs

The 2023 MTV VMAs also featured performances from Anitta, Demi Lovato, Diddy, Doja Cat, Fall Out Boy, Karol G, Kelsea Ballerini, Lil Wayne, Måneskin, Metro Boomin, Future, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, Swae Lee & NAV, Nicki Minaj, Olivia Rodrigo, Peso Pluma, Shakira, Stray Kids, TOMORROW X TOGETHER and more. 

Additionally, the show included star-studded collaborations from Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, Metro Boomin featuring Future, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, Swae Lee and NAV, and others.

The show concluded with a massive celebration that honored the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop with a collaborative performance by Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Doug E. Fresh, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, LL Cool J, Lil Wayne, and Nicki Minaj.

Chase Stokes, Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for MTV
Chase Stokes, Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for MTV

Bebe Rexha, Charli D’Amelio, Coco Jones, Dixie D’Amelio, Emily Ratajkowski, French Montana, GloRilla, Ice Spice, Jared Leto, Madelyn Cline, Rita Ora and Sabrina Carpenter were on hand to present during the ceremony.

Hosted by Nicki Minaj, the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) broadcasted live from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on Tuesday, September 12 at 8/7c via MTV. 

The show also streamed live on UniMas at 8/7c and will have an encore performance to follow on Univision at 11:30/10:30c, making it available to the most global audience in VMAs history. 

For more information on the MTV VMAs, visit their official website HERE.

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Written by

Andrew Wendowski is the Founder and CEO of Music Mayhem. As a 29-year-old entrepreneur, he oversees content as the Editor-In-Chief for the independent brand. Wendowski, who splits time between Philadelphia, Penn., and Nashville, Tenn., has an extensive background in multimedia. Before launching Music Mayhem in 2014, he worked as a highly sought-after photojournalist and tour photographer, collaborating with such labels as Interscope Records and Republic Records. He has captured photos of some of the biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Metallica, Harry Styles, P!NK, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Shania Twain, and hundreds more. Wendowski’s photos and freelance work have appeared nationwide and can be seen everywhere from ad campaigns to various publications, including Billboard and Rolling Stone. When Wendowski isn’t running Music Mayhem, he enjoys spending time at concerts, traveling, and capturing photos.

See more posts from Andrew Wendowski