Kelsea Ballerini, Little Big Town and More Team Up for All Star CMA Collab

Nobody saw this one coming!

Written by Chris Parton
Kelsea Ballerini, Little Big Town and More Team Up for All Star CMA Collab
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 13: (L-R) Jennifer Wayne, Naomi Cooke and Hannah Mulholland of Runaway June, Ashley McBryde, Jimi Westbrook, Kimberly Schlapman, Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet of Little Big Town, Carly Pearce, Madison Marlow and Taylor Dye of Maddie & Tae and Lindsay Ell perform onstage during the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images,)

Kelsea Ballerini, Lindsay Ell, Runaway June, Maddie & Tae, Carly Pearce, Ashley McBryde and Little Big Town teamed up for a powerful collaboration at the 53rd annual CMA Awards, providing one of the night’s most anticipated and moving moments.

Starting off with a simple-yet-serene presentation of Ballerini’s “homecoming queen?” — the hit maker sent out a tender message of understanding to anyone feeling trapped by the pressure to be perfect. She was soon joined for a second act, though, as Ell took the small satellite stage with guitar in hand to begin a surprise treatment of Little Big Town’s powerful “Girl Crush” ballad.

Runaway June, Maddie & Tae, McBryde and Pearce then all took a turn on the highly-touted performance, before Little Big Town arrived on the arena’s main stage and climbing to a triumphant climax in four part harmony. Inspired by a seemingly unstoppable sense romantic jealousy, “Girl Crush” brought the secretive collaboration full circle — promoted only as a “CMA Single and Song of the Year” before the show — perhaps describing one of the reasons for the pain behind Ballerini’s “homecoming queen?” in first place.

The 53rd annual CMA Awards aired live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, co-hosted for the first time by Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton.