When Kelsea Ballerini won the CMT Award for a performance that haters bashed, she thanked her fans for supporting her as she explores different genres.
Kelsea Ballerini and Halsey took home the CMT Award for CMT Performance of the Year at the 2021 CMT Awards on June 9. They won the honor for their performance of “The Other Girl” at the 2020 CMT Awards in October. At the time, the performance was criticized for not being “country,” and Kelsea received major backlash on social media for performing the song on a country music awards show. However, after winning a fan-voted award for the performance, Kelsea was validated.
“There was a lot of chatter on ‘categorically’ what genre this song did or didn’t fit into,” Kelsea said during her 2021 acceptance speech. “And the fact that you voted this as the winning performance tells me that you know where my roots are and that you know who I am. But it also tells me that you hear music as music and tells me that you love when people push boundaries and explore artistry. As I make a new record, that means the absolute world to me!”