Kelsea Ballerini and Kenny Chesney pay homage to their shared hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee on “half of my hometown,” a plaintive, mid-tempo ballad that originally appeared on Kelsea’s self-titled third album, which she put out in March of 2020.
The new single finds the two stars looking back at their roots. “Besides being a dream collaboration with Kenny, which I still can’t believe happened, this is really a love letter to home,” Kelsea reflects.
“It can be about wherever you’re from,” she adds, “and the people who love you, support you, drove you crazy, made you cry and made you who you are.”
For his part, Kenny says the nostalgia — and the inherent sadness of leaving such a familiar place behind — is what first drew him to “half of my hometown.”
“There’s a real tug of who you are and who you were in the place where you grow up, and that never leaves you,” he points out. “When Kelsea sent me ‘half of my hometown,’ it was everything that leaving is: The tug of what you’re leaving, the need to chase your dreams, the truth of all the good things and the hunger to see the rest of the world.”
The pair will come together for the first time to perform the song at the 2021 ACM Awards, which airs this Sunday at 9:00p.m. ET on CBS.
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.