Kelsea Ballerini teamed up with LANY frontman Paul Klein for a world premiere performance of a new song called “I Quit Drinking” on the 2021 CMT Music Awards.
Ballerini opened the set by turning a rooftop across from the historic Ryman Auditorium into her stage, soon uniting with Klein inside Bridgestone Arena where the two dueted on the pop-leaning number. Lead by piano, the mournful song finds the singers longing not just for whiskey and champagne, but the person they used to share the libations with. “You’re the only thing I want/When one drop hits my mouth/You’re the reason I quit drinking,” they called to each other, trading vocals from across the stage, their refined voices blending naturally together as rain fell upon them to bring the performance to a dramatic close.
Ballerini teased the new track on Instagram Monday night (6/7), sharing that the song was co-written by her and Klein. “Guyssss @thisislany and I wrote a song together and get to perform it live for the first time ever for you this Wednesday on the @cmt awards and available everywhere after IM SO STOKED,” she wrote with a black & white photo of the two.
Klein shared the same photo, writing, “Kelsea and i wrote a song together called “i quit drinking” and we’re releasing it wednesday at 5pm pst then we’re gonna sing it on live television at the @cmt awards.”
Her collaboration with LANY isn’t the only thing Ballerini has had to look forward to. The Tennessee native will hit the road later this year, opening for pop band the Jonas Brothers on their Remember This Tour. She also recently sent her Kenny Chesney-collaboration “Half of My Hometown” to country radio.
Other performances from country music’s only fan-voted awards show include Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood, Kane Brown, Lauren Alaina and more.
The 2021 CMT Awards, hosted by Kane Brown and Kelsea Ballerini, will air live on Wednesday, June 9 at 8 p.m. ET on CMT, MTV, MTV2, Logo, Paramount Network and TV Land. Voting is open for Video of the Year from now through Wednesday, June 9. Check out a full list of the nominees here.
Sounds Like Nashville will have all of your coverage for the 2021 CMT Music Awards right here.