Kelsea Ballerini brought a very special date to the 2023 GRAMMY Awards red carpet: her mom, Carla Ballerini. On Sunday (Feb. 5), the “HEARTFIRST” singer walked the star-studded GRAMMY’s red carpet with her mother by her side.
An Instagram video posted by CBS, shows the mother/daughter moment as they pose for pictures together before heading into the annual ceremony, held in Los Angeles at the Crypto.com Arena and hosted by Trevor Noah.
View this post on Instagram
“Our hearts are bursting at @kelseaballerini bringing her mom as her date to the #GRAMMYs ,” a caption reads alongside the post, which features Ballerini, 29, dazzling onlookers in a vibrant yellow dress designed by Prabal Gurung.
The breathtaking custom-made ensemble, paired with matching-colored Stuart Weitzman sandals, featured several layers of tulle and a standout crisscross neckline with a cutout center.
“That’s what I wanted. I wanted it to feel like sunshine. Like happy, happy,” Ballerini told EXTRA of her fashionable look, which contrasted nicely with her momma’s all-glitter black dress.
Ballerini, who was nominated for Best Country Solo Performance for her song “Heartfirst,” also gushed about having her mom as her date for the evening, saying, “My mom is my date. She’s as beautiful as ever.”
“My mom moved me to Nashville when I was 15 to do this. So anytime I get like, I call these mountain-top moments, where it’s kind of like everything comes to a moment where you’re like, ‘Oh this is magic and I don’t know if it will ever happen again.’ Anytime I have a moment like this, I’m like, ‘Momma, c’mon,” Ballerini added, according to a Tweet featured on the Recording Academy/Grammys Twitter page.
.@KelseaBallerini is looking flawless in yellow at the #GRAMMYs. 🎶 Watch #GRAMMYLive from the red carpet now: https://t.co/uSD9F0pXdb pic.twitter.com/MCsh1VzOv6
— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) February 5, 2023
Eagle-eyed fans may have questioned Ballerini’s choice of date since the singer has previously been photographed with actor Chase Stokes on numerous occasions. Ballerini and Stokes, 30, were first seen cuddling up together at the Georgia vs. TCU game at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, per a shot on Stoke’s Instagram page.
The photo, which is one of many that prove the pair have sparked up, at the very least, a friendship, has ultimately led to dating rumors.
But when asked to dish about her love life, Ballerini, simply, says, “I’m happy.”
Although Ballerini didn’t take home the award for her “Heartfelt” single, she did open up about the song, which means so much to her. The track, written alongside Karen Fairchild and songwriter Alysa Vanderheym appears on her current album Subject to Change. The album, and follow-up to 2020’s Kelsea, finds Ballerini going through the inevitable processes of change that comes with exiting your 20s and entering your 30s.
“I’m genuinely happy to be here and to have a reason to be here. I got nominated for a song about, like, following your heart and, like, trusting yourself, and I’ve been on such a journey of relearning my wiring and how to trust myself,” Ballerini explained. “So it just feels kismet to be here for that. And, winning is, you know, that’s subjective…. I’m in this place where I want forward motion. I like craving forward motion. So, I’m excited to be out there, sharing it, vibing, and experiencing.”
Interestingly enough, Ballerini revealed she found out about her GRAMMY nomination while at the courthouse in November when she was finalizing her divorce from ex-husband country singer/songwriter Morgan Evans. Ballerini filed for divorce from Evans in August of 2022 after nearly five years of marriage.
“Yeah. I finalized the divorce the morning I got nominated for a GRAMMY,” she told Access Hollywood’s, Scott Evans. “It’s just life. I feel like all the most beautiful moments of life happen in alignment with things that make you challenge yourself and question things. I feel like it makes moments like this even more special. I’m holding today really close to my heart because I feel like in a moment that would have felt heavy and dark, I felt light. So, I’m happy to be here.”
On Feb. 23, Ballerini will head overseas for the UK leg of her Heartfirst Tour. In March, she will join Kenny Chesney as a special guest for his I Go Back Tour.
The 2023 GRAMMY Awards, which honors excellence and outstanding achievement in the music industry, aired live on Sunday (Feb. 5) at 8 p.m. ET on CBS and featured performances by Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, Sam Smith, Steve Lacy, Lizzo, and more. Beyoncé was the most nominated star at the 65th Annual GRAMMYs, with nine total nods while Kendrick Lamar had eight. Adele and Brandi Carlile each had seven nominations.