Kelsea Ballerini and her beau, Chase Stokes, have not been shy to show off their connection since going public with their relationship in February 2023. Now, Kelsea is giving fans insight into how the pair first met.
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Ballerini took to social media over the weekend with a post celebrating Stokes on his 31st birthday (September 16) featuring photos and videos of the couple. Within that post was a screenshot of Ballerini shootin’ her shot via Instagram direct message.
“Hiii Chase Stokes,” a message from Kelsea dated December 1, 2022 at 1:07am reads.
“Hey there how u doin,” a reply from Stokes reads at 3:17am.
Kelsea does not address the messages directly, however, it’s clear it’s her first interaction with Stokes who is best known for his role as John B on Outer Banks.
While Kelsea hasn’t been shy to gush over her romance with Stokes over the last seven months, her music has been more focused on her divorce from fellow Country musician, Morgan Evans, which she revealed in August 2022.
"Friends, I've always tried my best to share my life with you in a real and vulnerable way, while also protecting layers of my personal life as they unfold,” she wrote in a post to social media announcing the divorce. “This is now public record so I wanted you to hear from me directly that I am going through a divorce.”
She continued, “this deeply difficult decision is the result of a journey of love, growth, and effort that ultimately has come to an end. It's hard to find the words here... but I feel extremely grateful for the years of marriage to Morgan and hopeful for the next seasons.”
In the months following the divorce Kelsea and Morgan both turned to music to process — Evans with the release of his single, “Over for You,” and Kelsea with her Rolling Up The Welcome Mat project and coinciding short film.
“Rolling Up the Welcome Mat was how I processed everything,” she said at the time of the project’s release. “It's the way I got my feelings out of my body and heart and put them to music — which is the purest way I could've handled it."
Kelsea’s Rolling Up The Welcome Mat EP and the extended version, Rolling Up The Welcome Mat (For Good) are both available for streaming now.