Kelsea Ballerini Claps Back After Being Criticized for CMT Music Awards Performance With Halsey

After followers criticized Kelsea Ballerini’s 2020 CMT Music Awards performance with Halsey, the country singer decided to deliver a strong message. See what she said online.

By Mike Vulpo Oct 22, 2020 10:21 PMTags
Watch: 2020 CMT Music Awards: Must-See Fashion

Just call Kelsea Ballerini the clap back queen!

During the 2020 CMT Music Awards on Oct. 21, the country music singer was absolutely thrilled to collaborate with Halsey and live out her "Coyote Ugly dreams."

Despite their different musical backgrounds, the two artists had the opportunity to come together for a unique rendition of their song, "The Other Girl."

But as it turns out, some social media users were unimpressed, critical or judgmental of the pair's gig. Kelsea, however, had a message for the critics.

"After reading way too many comments, I'd like to remind people that there are different kinds of country music," she shared on her Instagram page. "And none are more ‘real' than others when it comes from an honest place, that women can wear whatever we want and shouldn't be called names and criticized for it, and that if you don't have something nice to say, politely shut up."

CMT Music Awards 2020: See Every Star in Attendance

While it's unclear what specifically upset some followers, one user accused many of the performers of lip-syncing.

"Here's the thing," one follower wrote. "To me the issue isn't the outfit. My issue is the lip-synching. Every performance last night was lip synced and it was very obvious." 

Kelsea replied, "Not true, every performance was prerecorded because, ya know, COVID."

Others like Reese Witherspoon were anything but critical of the show. In fact, the Legally Blonde star specifically loved watching the collaboration between Kelsea and Halsey. "THIS DUO," the actress wrote on Twitter after watching the performance. "If y'all need a third member I'm available…"


Kelsea and Halsey first met two years ago in Nashville and later formed a friendship during a night of karaoke. Both artists were nominated for CMT Performance of the Year thanks to their collaboration of "Graveyard" from CMT Crossroads.

While they ultimately lost to Chris Young, Kelsea expressed her appreciation to loyal fans on Twitter. "One day will be our day," she wrote. "Thank you for voting so relentlessly." 

Besides, there may be much more to come from the "homecoming queen?" singer in the near future.

"I just—have some things I'm looking forward to sharing with you. I've been a safe but busy [bee emoji]," Kelsea teased on Oct. 12. "Some performances, some surprises. I need to go refill my teapot now, seems I've spilled." Yee-haw!