From Fill-In Girl to Primetime Host, Kelsea Ballerini Pulls Double Duty

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This Thursday night, Kelsea Ballerini will be pulling double duty. On TV, she’s hosting ABC’s Greatest Hits with Arsenio Hall, while in real life, she’ll be opening the Rhythm & Roots tour for Rascal Flatts.

The “Peter Pan” hitmaker admits she’s enjoying having a coveted spot on a big tour, after being all over the place last summer.

“Last year I was kinda like the fill-in for a lot of tours,” she recalls. “I was able to like do the Next Women of Country tour with CMT and Jana Kramer, the Dan+Shay tour and then I filled in for Lady Antebellum and then I opened fairs and festivals for Keith Urban and then we like headlined smaller radio gigs and just kinda got a taste of all of it. But the really nice part about this year has been having a little bit more consistency. It’s been really awesome to have like a set that we can kinda like get in the groove of!”

What makes it even better for the Tennessee native is that she’s spent a lot of time over the years being a fan of her current employers.

“I grew up seeing Flatts,” she remembers. “You know, I grew up watching them when they came to Knoxville any time and I actually did a show with them last weekend and sat in front of house and just watched the whole thing and couldn’t believe that I got to be, like, be on the same stage as them. So, it’s gonna be a really cool summer.”

If you happen to be in Mountain View, California, tonight, you can catch Kelsea and Rascal Flatts, along with Chris Lane, at the Shoreline Amphitheatre. If you’re near your TV, you can see her hosting Greatest Hits at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

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