Country stars Kelsea Ballerini and Kane Brown are co-hosting the June 9, 2021, CMT Awards, and there are multiple reasons for fans to rejoice. In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic not only pushed the award ceremony back four months to October but also forced it to invent a category to celebrate continued creativity in the industry, with the “Quarantine Video of the Year” award. But this year, things are looking brighter.
“Thrilled to be celebrating country music and summertime and being a little more together by hosting… with my fellow KB & friend @kanebrown_music,” Ballerini captioned an Instagram post about the news. A returning host from 2020, Brown said via the official CMT press release, “The CMT Music Awards are special to me – it’s the first industry award I won, and getting on that stage was an amazing feeling.” Brown added about the fan-voted CMT Awards (the process of which distinguishes them from the ACM Awards), “I love that the fans get to have their voices heard.”
Ballerini might have also dropped a tease in her Instagram caption that set country fan hearts aflutter. The “Half of My Hometown” singer ended her Instagram caption by noting that she and brown “have more surprises to come for the show [smiley-face emoji].” You know it’s serious when a smiley emoji is involved! Here’s what excited fans think her hint means.
Could Kelsea Ballerini and Kane Brown be collaborating soon?
Thanks to Kelsea Ballerini’s cryptic Instagram caption about co-hosting the 2021 CMT Awards with Kane Brown, fans think an upcoming song collaboration could be on the way from the two country crooners. Could one of the “surprises” at the show be the debut of a new song? Fans were quick to speculate about what the “Legends” songbird meant.
“Omg are we getting a Kane and Kelsea Collab ?,” one fan commented on Instagram. Another commenter left a string of emojis, including the music note and hand with pen, along with question marks. Ballerini understood the emoji-speak, which seemed to ask if the pair has written or recorded a song together now that they will be co-hosting. The singer-songwriter replied, “Also add [lollipop emoji] [microphone emoji] = [question marks] to this cryptic list,” to which the fan then responded, “OMG TOUR ?!?” Anything is possible at this point!
All emojis aside, the speculation likely stems back to February 2021, when Ballerini confirmed in an Instagram live, per Music Mayhem Magazine, that not only did she know Brown, but the two had already co-written a song. Despite her saying, “I wonder if that [song] will ever see the light of day,” fans interpreted it as her playing coy rather than expressing genuine doubt. Will the duo debut their collaboration onstage at the 2021 CMTs? As Ballerini herself put it, you’ll have to “tune in June 9” to find out!
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