Kelsea Ballerini’s CMT Award Performance Featured ‘Drag Race’ Stars

When Sashay meets Yee-haw.

Country pop darling Kelsea Ballerini cohosted the 2023 CMT Music Awards alongside Kane Brown last night, and she wowed the crowd when she performed some of her best hits featuring queens from Rupaul’s Drag Race.

It’s no secret that conservatives aren’t the biggest fans of drag (at least when gay people are doing it) and have been making a frightening effort to push and pass anti-drag and anti-trans bills across the country. Country music is sometimes aligned with conservative ideals, but there are many artists, like Ballerini, who proudly and publicly disprove that assumption. Yee-haw.

During her performance last night, Bellerini sang “If You Go Down (I’m Goin’ Down Too).” She brought out fan-favorite Drag Race queens Manila Luzon, Kennedy Davenport, Jan, and Olivia Lux on the stage with her. Fans took to social media to praise the country music star for standing with the LGBTQ+ community and spotlighting drag queens in a positive light when they currently face so much hateful rhetoric. One Youtube user commented, “country music is for everyone! look how happy this performance [was]. THIS IS what everyone should do. Just enjoy life and dance without being hateful to people who is different from you!” while another wrote “Not one child was harmed in the making of this production.”

“Just like all these amazing country music artists, we drag queens are also artists. And we deserve a space to be ourselves, express ourselves, and create something wonderful for everyone to enjoy,” Luzon told ET.

“It means so much, […] Because any opportunity for us to share our gifts with the world is a blessing. So, it’s more of us having a message to bless other people. It’s not bad. It’s all good. It’s all love. It’s all total liberation — that’s what the arts are all about.”

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