2021 CMA Awards: Kelsea Ballerini & Kenny Chesney Win Musical Event of the Year & Video of the Year for ‘Half of My Hometown’

by Maria Hartfield

Congratulations to country music singer Kelsea Ballerini and Kenny Chesney for winning Musical Event of the Year and Video of the Year at this years’ CMA Awards. Singer-songwriter Jimmie Allen announced the winners live on Good Morning America in front of Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.

The dynamic duo won both awards for their song “Half of My Hometown.”

“Growing up in East TN, it’s a deeper kind of home. [And] that’s what makes being part of #halfofmyhometown so special. I’m thrilled for Kelsea to have won Musical Event & Music Video of the Year … I’m honored to be a part of it,” Chesney posted on Twitter in response to the win.

The award-winning song was co-written and produced by Ballerini, Ross Copperman, and Jimmy Robbins with a little help from Shane McAnally and Nicolle Galyon. 

The music video was directed by Patrick Tracy.

Featuring soft melodies against uplifting lyrics, Ballerini shines on the track which appears on her self-titled third studio album released in March 2020.

Set in Knoxville, Tennessee, the music video appears to highlight Ballerini’s own life experiences. Firstly, the video shows a young girl moving away from friends. After that, viewers are treated to a series of short clips depicting cherished high school experiences. In conclusion, the video ends with Ballerini holding a newborn baby in the hospital whilst reminiscing on her hometown history.

In an ode to her hometown, the lyrics read:

“Back roads raise us
Highways take us
Memories make us wanna go back

To our hometown, settle down
Talk about that one touchdown
Raise some kids in red and black
Go Bobcats, while the other half
Of my hometown was in the crowd
They knew the words, they sang them loud
And all I wanna do is make them proud

‘Cause half of me will always be
From Knoxville, Tennessee
My hometown
‘Cause I’m half of my hometown”

To sum up, the lyrics depict an alternate reality in which Balerrini imagines what her life might have looked like had she not pursued her country music aspirations in Nashville.  

Tune In to the 55th Annual CMA Awards Live

The 55th Annual CMA Awards will take place live in Nashville, Tennessee on November 10, 2021.

CMA Awards host Luke Bryan will lead tonight’s program featuring 20 performances from some big names. For instance, featured artists will include Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood, Jimmie Allen, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Jennifer Hudson, Miranda Lambert, and more.

Additionally, Eric Church and Chris Stapleton lead the 2021 nominees with five nominations each: Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Single of the Year, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year.

Finally, presenters of tonight’s show include Trace Adkins, Kelsea Ballerini, Lauren Daigle, Amy Grant, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, Darius Rucker, Susan Sarandon, and more. 

Tune in to the CMA Awards tonight. Airing live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville at 8pm EST.