Ballerini, a co-host of the annual awards show with singer Kane Brown, opened the Austin, Texas, show by listing the names of six victims three adults and three 9-year-olds who were killed Monday at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. She noted how she shared their pain, explaining that in 2008 she witnessed a school shooting in her hometown high school cafeteria in Knoxville and prayed for “real action” that would protect children and families.
About two hours into the fan-voted awards show, the Tennessee native sang “If You Go Down (I’m Going Down Too)” and danced with Kennedy Davenport, Jan Sport, Manila Luzon and Olivia Lux, all stars of the show “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
Her home state of Tennessee was the first to place strict limits on drag show performances, which were set to take effect this month. The law has been temporarily blocked after a lawsuit was filed earlier this week.
if you go down, i’m going down too 🏳️🌈 // thank you to these iconic queens and @manilaluzon @kennedyddoftx @janjanjan @TheOliviaLux and @CMT for celebrating love, self expression, and performance.— Kelsea Ballerini (@KelseaBallerini) April 3, 2023
📸 John Shearer @GettyImages pic.twitter.com/jZ3JTVI3ny