Kelsea Ballerini shared an emotional moment with the students and staff of Central High School, where she attended school in Knoxville, Tennessee. Now a global superstar, Ballerini recently appeared in a video call on the school’s morning announcements to surprise everyone.
Ballerini shared a video of the heartwarming moment on Instagram. The surprise for the Central High School Bobcats came shortly after the “HEARTFIRST” star announced her upcoming hometown show at Knoxville’s Thompson-Boling Arena (with a little help from her dog, Dibs). Ballerini’s hometown show, featuring Ingrid Andress and Georgia Webster, is set for November 2. It sold out on Friday morning (September 15).
“We just announced the homecoming show, and the thing that I really wanted to do was make sure that the place that I sang a song that I wrote on stage for the first time ever, Central High School, felt like they were kind of the first to know,” Ballerini gushed with a big smile And so, we are joining the morning announcements and giving everyone tickets to come to the show. Big full-circle moment. Very excited.”
The video showed classrooms of students listening to the morning announcements, with no idea they’d get a surprise appearance by an award-winning artist and alum of their school.
“I announced the biggest show of my career this morning,” Ballerini said when she appeared on screen. “I’m coming home to play Thompson-Boling Arena, which is where I grew up. So, I want to formally invite everyone at Central High School to please come to the show. I’m giving you tickets. You can bring your mama, your crush… I love you so much. So, so much. Go Bobcats!
“My heart!” Ballerini said after the call, placing a hand on her chest. Boyfriend and Outer Banks star Chase Stokes comforted Ballerini as she wiped a tear from her eye and said, “that was a good moment.”
Central High School posted a photo of Ballerini’s surprise on the morning announcements, sharing that “we were all screaming with Joy!!!”
Ballerini announced her hometown show on Tuesday morning (September 12), which was also her 30th birthday and the day of her MTV VMAs debut. She featured Dibs in the announcement set to her sentimental duet with fellow East Tennessean and former tour mate Kenny Chesney, “half of my hometown.”
“throughout the last decade and four albums, there has been a consistent ode to my hometown. whether it be lyrically like in ‘half of my hometown’ or celebrating milestone moments in venues like my high school, the tennessee theater, or the civic center, it’s always been incredibly important to me to go back to the place that let me go to chase my dream,” Ballerini said as she announced details about the homecoming show on Tuesday. “playing thompson-boling has been on my bucket list since i was a little kid watching my favorite musicians come through town and is the perfect place to celebrate such a bookmark year and kick off a new level of touring. see you november 2, knoxville 🧡”
Ballerini said on Friday that her “mind is blown and my heart is melted into a puddle,” after her hometown show sold out. “this is going to be one of the most special nights of my whole lil life.”