Reba and Kelsea, together again for a “CMA Country Christmas” collaboration

ABC/Mark Levine

It’s a match made in country music heaven. Reba McEntire and Kelsea Ballerini first sang together earlier this month at the CMA Awards, and Monday night, they’ll reunite on the CMA Country Christmas special.

There was no hiding the fact that Kelsea was delighted to sing her hit, “Legends,” with one of her heroes at the 51st Annual CMA Awards.

“It was awesome,” Kelsea says. “We had like a really cool chemistry, because we got to hang out on and off stage a little bit. She’s just a pro and so poised all the time. And the fact that she’s singing with me again is very nice of her.”

Reba leaves no doubt the two have formed their own mutual admiration society.

“I love her to pieces!” the Country Music Hall-of-Famer says. “She’s an enthusiastic young lady, very talented, beautiful, very smart, very savvy about the business. And I’m thrilled to death to get to sing with her again tonight.”

Reba and Kelsea will do “Jingle Bells” together, while Kelsea covers “White Christmas” by herself.

“I love that kind of music and those kind of voices,” Kelsea says of the standard made famous by Bing Crosby. “Classic music like that just has a spot in my heart. Obviously, you try to kind of do your own take on it, your country take on it. But I don’t know, there’s also a classic sound to it still. You just try to do it well, I guess.”

“And I’m singing with Reba again, which is casual,” the Unapologetically singer adds with a chuckle.

Reba steps in for Jennifer Nettles as host of the eighth annual CMA Country Christmas special, which premieres tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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