On Thursday, May 13, the country superstar and CMT Awards co-host shared the much-anticipated music video for her latest single “Half Of My Hometown,” a duet with Kenny Chesney that is an ode to their hometown of Knoxville. Although Chesney doesn’t appear in the music video, Ballerini did their hometown justice with cinematic visuals reminiscing on her hometown while detailing the idea of what her life would be had she not left the East Tennessee town to pursue her country music dreams in Nashville
“It feels very comfortable and very easy to play because I think it’s a very realistic picture of what my life would be like had I stayed,” Ballerini told PEOPLE ahead of the music video’s release. “I love when a video can kind of make the song have a new meaning and bring a new life to it. And we wanted to do that with this one, just because it is so personal.”
“I moved when I was 15 to Nashville and I couldn’t wait to leave. All I wanted was to go to Nashville and figure out how to be a country music singer,” the singer previously recalled to the outlet. “So in my mind, Knoxville was the place that was holding me back. [However] I wouldn’t be the artist or the songwriter or the person I am if I hadn’t have had those 15 years here. I have a huge appreciation and respect for it now. I love my hometown.”
“It brings joy to my heart to know that I did leave, right? I got to chase this dream and that I’m getting to come back and like appreciate the life that I maybe could have had had I stayed,” Ballerini added. “It’s a very interesting juxtaposition, but it makes me happy.”
Watch the new music video above.