When Kelsea Ballerini and Halsey took the stage together to perform each other's hits for CMT Crossroads, we knew magic would happen. But we had no idea how well their voices would blend on Ballerini's current single, "homecoming queen?," which Halsey admits she wishes she had written herself.
"If there is any song that I wish that I wrote, it is 'homecoming queen?' by Kelsea Ballerini," Halsey shared from stage before the song began.
"Homecoming queen?" is from Ballerini's upcoming third album, Kelsea, scheduled to be released on March 20.
"I think a lot of people do self-titled as the first album," Ballerini told Zane Lowe for Apple's Beats 1. It didn't feel right to me yet. I just feel like writing every song on it, co-producing it, really getting more self-aware on this album, talking about things I haven't talked about before –– it felt like a first-name basis album. It felt like the one that was like, 'Hey, you do know me, but here's really how it is."
Ballerini and Halsey were already friends, thanks to a chance encounter a couple of years ago, when Halsey was performing in Nashville.
“I had met her before, but we’d never really hung out,” Ballerini told PEOPLE in 2018. “I’m obviously a really big fan of her music, so I went to the show with my friends and afterwards said hi, and she didn’t have a show the next day, so she was like, ‘Let’s go hang!’ And I was like, ‘Yep!'”
Not only did they go sing karaoke in downtown Nashville until the early hours of the morning, but the two singers also realized how much they had in common.
“We’re both really similar in age and had a lot to talk about; it was cool to be around someone who’s so creative and so driven and so down-to-earth," Ballerini said. "She really is so lovely. I feel like I made a new friend.”0comments
Kelsea also includes the track "la," which Ballerini has called “the most vulnerable thing I've publicly shared." The record has a total of 13 songs, and includes duets with both Halsey and Kenny Chesney. Pre-order the record and get instant access to four songs. Find more information by visiting Ballerini's website.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of CMT / Jason Kempin