ABC Audio

Kelsea Ballerini is nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year at Wednesday night’s CMA Awards, but she says she feels she’s already won.

“Honestly, getting nominated is amazing because that means that you get some type of performance, and I think performing is winning,” she told ABC Audio Tuesday. “I think having that amount of time on a show like the CMAs to show what you do is an award.”

Not only that, but Kelsea is performing twice.  First, she’ll give her latest single, “homecoming queen?,” its TV debut.

“It’s just me and my guitar, which I haven’t done before on an award show,” she said. “And I’m just excited to show that side of the song and really get those lyrics across. I’m really proud of the song. So it’s going to be special. I think.”

Also special will be Kelsea’s performance as part of a group of fellow female artists: Carly Pearce, Lindsay Ell, Ashley McBryde, Runaway June and Maddie & Tae.  

“It’s the new women voices of country coming together and showing what we do and showing our strength. And I start it on the satellite stage, and they finish it on the main stage,” Kelsea explained. “And I turned around yesterday during rehearsal and I just watched it. And…it looked so strong and so empowered. And it’s gonna be a really powerful moment.”

And speaking of female power, Kelsea knows who’s got her vote for Entertainer of the Year. 

“Listen, everyone in that category is amazing. They’re all entertainers,” she says. “But Carrie [Underwood] is the Entertainer of the Year, period.”

As for her own chances of winning, Kelsea said she doesn’t know what she’d do if her name was called.

“Probably something awkward: fall, because it’s me,” she laughed.

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