Halsey & Kelsea Ballerini’s Live “Without Me” Duet

The concept behind the American TV show “CMT Crossroads” is intriguing—it pairs country artists with those from pop, rock, and R&B genres for collaborative live performances. In 2020, the show struck gold by bringing together pop sensation Halsey and rising country star Kelsea Ballerini. Their collaboration on Halsey’s hit track “Without Me” was nothing short of remarkable.

What made their performance stand out was the seamless blending of their voices. Kelsea’s rich, smoky tones complemented Halsey’s soaring highs, creating a captivating rendition that sounded as polished as a studio recording. Their chemistry was palpable, akin to that of sisters, and it was evident that their friendship was a driving force behind their on-stage synergy.

Interestingly, Halsey and Kelsea had already established a bond prior to their appearance on “CMT Crossroads.” Their friendship began two years earlier when Kelsea attended one of Halsey’s gigs in Nashville in 2018. Their connection deepened when Halsey featured on Kelsea’s country track “The Other Girl,” which was part of her third, self-titled album.

This performance came at the peak of their friendship, before any noted disagreements or falling outs. They had previously collaborated on “CMT Crossroads” twice, first in 2019 for a live rendition of “The Other Girl,” and again for Halsey’s track “Graveyard.” Each of these performances had amassed millions of views, showcasing the duo’s ability to captivate audiences with their friendship and undeniable talent.

Halsey, at 29 years old, had already made a significant mark on the music industry with four studio albums, three Grammy nominations, and an impressive 12 BMI Pop Awards to her name. Her collaboration with The Chainsmokers on the chart-topping hit “Closer” in 2016 catapulted her into the pop music spotlight, paving the way for the success of her solo singles like “Without Me,” which topped the Billboard Hot 100.

On the other hand, Kelsea Ballerini, hailing from Mascot, Tennessee, had cemented her status as a country legend by achieving seven #1 singles, earning four Grammy nominations, and receiving numerous country music awards. Her appearances on shows like “The Voice” and as a guest judge on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” had further solidified her presence in the music industry.

Their duet of “Without Me” was a masterful display of their individual talents and their unique interpretations of pop music. The upbeat yet poignant nature of the song allowed them to showcase their vocal prowess while delivering a performance that resonated deeply with their audience.

With over 30 million views across their “CMT Crossroads” performances on YouTube, combined with their massive social media followings—35 million Instagram followers and 13 million YouTube subscribers between them—Halsey and Kelsea had clearly captured the hearts and attention of countless fans. Their collaboration was not just a musical moment; it was a testament to the power of friendship, talent, and the magic of music.

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