Kelsea Ballerini debuted a heartwarming ballad to reflect the current chapter of her life when she took the legendary Grand Ole Opry stage on Tuesday night (November 28) in Nashville, Tennessee. The 2024 Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter revealed the full song for the first time after she “made the impulsive decision” to tease a snippet of it on TikTok a few days earlier.
Ballerini introduced surprise guests Karen Fairchild and Hillary Lindsey to the Opry stage to join her for the first-ever live performance of “To The Men That Love Women After Heartbreak.” Ballerini explained that Fairchild and Lindsey wrote the song with her, and credited the with being “two of the reasons that I am who I am as an artist.”
“…I made the very impulsive decision to just put a chorus out on Thanksgiving, and I felt like I should just probably follow through,” Ballerini said on the Opry stage as the audience cheered. “The reality is, I’ve been singing about a chapter of my life that is far past me now. And I’m writing about the chapter of life that I’m in, and it looks very different, and I kind of wanted to share a bit of it now. I’m very gently and slowly starting to make the next record. I really want to take the time to handle it with care. I couldn’t not sing this song for the first time with two of the women that I wrote it with, who happen to be two of the reasons that I am who I am as a songwriter and artist. So, please welcome Hilary Lindsey and Karen Fairchild.”
A video shared on X (formerly Twitter) by Kelsea Central, a Ballerini fan account, captured that moment. The Opry crowd cheered and some can be heard saying “holy sh*t,” as powerhouse singer-songwriters Fairchild and Lindsey made their way to the stage. Ballerini said the trio penned “To The Men That Love Women After Heartbreak” last month.
Ballerini has ben performing — including at her sold-out hometown arena show earlier this month in Knoxville, Tennessee — music from her deeply personal EP, Rolling Up The Welcome Mat, which released earlier this year with a 20-minute short film. The project shares Ballerini’s story and her healing process following her divorce from after nearly five years of marriage. Ballerini later extended the EP with Rolling Up The Welcome Mat (For Good), making a few fan-favorite edits to previously-released songs, and adding a new track about beginning to date again after divorce.
Since then, Ballerini has ignited a new romance with Outer Banks actor Chase Stokes. She confirmed the relationship in an interview earlier this year after rumors swirled about the budding couple. Stokes posted a photo with Ballerini in January, sitting closely together at the College Football Playoff National Championship on January 9. The “HEARTFIRST” star revealed that she and Stokes began talking in December 2022 after she “slid into his DMs,” simply saying, “hi, Chase Stokes,” referencing his Instagram handle. Ballerini shared a screenshot of that moment when she posted on Instagram for Stokes’ birthday in September.
Listen to Ballerini’s debut performance of “To The Men That Love Women After Heartbreak” with Fairchild and Lindsey here: