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From fan to performer to host, Kelsea Ballerini’s done it all at CMA Fest

ABC/Ed Herrera

Next Sunday, Kelsea Ballerini hosts ABC’s annual CMA Fest special with Thomas Rhett for the third time, and performs on the show as well.

But it wasn’t that long ago that the Tennessee native was part of the audience at Nashville’s Nissan Stadium. 

“I’ve gotten to be part of it for several years on the artist side,” Kelsea explains. “But I used to be here as a fan, and me and my mom would drive in from Knoxville.”

“And I have these pictures from the first time I did this at the old convention center,” she continues, “with like these weird flower power shorts waiting in line to meet Taylor [Swift] and Lady A and Justin Moore.”

For Kelsea, that experience just makes her love the fans that much more.

“To just be able to be on this side of it now,” she says, “I feel like I really get to appreciate the fans, and the lines that they wait in, and saving up to buy these tickets. It’s a big deal.”

Kelsea will perform her most recent number one, “Miss Me More,” on the show, as well as her pop hit “This Feeling” with The Chainsmokers.

You can tune in for three non-stop hours of music starting Sunday, August 4 at 8 p.m. ET, when the 2019 CMA Fest special premieres on ABC.

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