The 55th Annual CMA Awards show is set to kick off at 8 p.m. EST Wednesday night (November 10), but in a surprise announcement on Good Morning America, some winners were revealed early.
Country star Jimmie Allen joined GMA’s Lara Spencer on air to announce the CMA Musical Event of the Year and CMA Music Video of the Year winners. Kelsea Ballerini and Kenny Chesney took home the win for CMA Musical Event of the Year for their collaboration on “Half of My Hometown,” giving Ballerini her first ever CMA Award. She and Chesney were also in the running for CMA Music Video of the Year. Other nominees included:
“Chasing After You” — Ryan Hurd with Maren Morris
“Famous Friends” — Chris Young with Kane Brown
“Gone” — Dierks Bentley
“Younger Me” — Brothers Osborne
The winner is…..Kelsea Ballerini and Kenny Chesney for “Half of My Hometown.” The win marks Ballerini’s second CMA honor and Chesney’s ninth.
#CMAawards Music Video of the Year goes to …
— Good Morning America (@GMA) November 10, 2021
Chesney and Ballerini, who both hail from east Tennessee, took to social media to celebrate their wins. Chesney gave a shoutout to his collab partner with a post that read:
“Growing up in East Tennessee, it’s a deeper kind of home. You have to have lived it to really understand. Kelsea knows that, knows how hard it is to leave to chase a dream like music. It’s what made being part of “Half of My Hometown” so special!” Kenny wrote. “I’m thrilled for Kelsea to have won Musical Event and Music Video of the Year! She couldn’t deserve it more, and I’m honored to be a part of it.”
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An emotional Ballerini posted via Instagram story about her elation and surprise over the wins.
“I’m in my car crying because I just found out we won two CMA Awards this morning, and I’ve never won a CMA Award before,” Kelsea said between laughing and crying. “I am so happy. I love this song. I’m so proud of this song. And I love everyone that’s a part of it….I can’t wait to go to the show tonight and celebrate. It’s my first one!”
Congratulations to Kelsea Ballerini and Kenny Chesney! Tune in to ABC at 8 p.m. EST to see live performances from some of country music’s biggest names including, Dan + Shay, Miranda Lambert, Luke Combs, Chris Stapleton, Gabby Barrett, Keith Urban, Thomas Rhett and more.
Watch Kelsea and Kenny’s winning music video below.