At the 2023 CMT Awards, country music fans united again, but there was a little more drama than usual. Kelsea Ballerini, a famous country singer who is 29 years old, was the host this year. She made headlines when she said she was dating actor Chase Stokes, who is 30 years old.


Kelsea Ballerini paid a heartfelt tribute to the people who died in the recent school shooting in Nashville during her monologue.

Kelsea Ballerini

She told the audience:

I pray deeply that the closeness and the community that we feel for the next few hours through music can soon turn into action – like, real action – that moves us forward together to create change for the safety of our kids and our loved ones.

She said the names of all six people who died and said that she had seen her 15-year-old classmate get shot in 2008 in the cafeteria of their school.

Tonight’s broadcast is dedicated to the ever-growing list of families, friends, survivors, witnesses, and responders whose lives continue to forever be changed by gun violence,

Kelsea Ballerini stated, fighting back tears.

Ballerini, on the other hand, didn’t stop there. In fact, the singer used her airtime to pay tribute to drag queens. For her song “If You Go Down (I’m Going Down Too),” she enlisted the help of famous RuPaul contestants Kennedy Davenport, Jan Sport, Olivia Lux, and Manila Luzon.

Check out the performance video below.

The movement seemed to be a jab at Tennessee’s controversial new anti-drag laws, which ban “adult cabaret performances” in public places. Fox News said that a federal judge temporarily blocked the ban just hours before it was supposed to go into effect.

The news source said that Trump-appointed District Judge Thomas Parker ruled in favor of Friends of George’s, an LGBTQ+ theater group in Memphis that had filed a lawsuit against Tennessee’s anti-drag law, which was supposed to take effect on Saturday (April 1).

Kelsea Ballerini posted a picture of herself with the drag queens on Twitter and wrote:

If you go down, i’m going down too […] // thank you to these iconic queens and [Manila Luzon, Kennedy Davenport, Jan Sport, Olivia Lux, and CMT] for celebrating love, self expression, and performance.

People all over the world were thrilled by the move, but many people weren’t happy to see drag queens having fun on stage. Tomi Lahren, a conservative commentator, lashed out after the event in a series of tweets, writing:

Y’all just don’t stop do you? Does everything have to be a platform to shove the rainbow mafia down our throats? Can you ever just do…idk…country freakin music?!!!!

Some of y’all blindly think this trans movement is about individuality and expression, no. It’s a manipulative and sneaky way for big Pharma to have a lock on these people for the rest of their lives. Wake up,

Kelsea Ballerini wrote in a second tweet.

Uh oh! How do you feel about what’s going on? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!