Kelsea Ballerini isn’t wasting any time moving on after finalizing her divorce in early November from country singer Morgan Evans. But she’s also revealing intimate details about the wisdom she’s gained since their breakup. Ballerini, who served as a part-time fifth coach on “The Voice” during season 15, has made lots of career news in recent days and has opened up about her life post-divorce, including releasing a surprise breakup tune with some eyebrow-raising lyrics.
Kelsea Ballerini Writes ‘Better Version’ Feature With Fletcher Following Their Public Breakups
When Ballerini first heard the song “Better Version” by her dear friend, pop artist Fletcher, it was love at first listen. In an Instagram Live conversation on November 20, 2022, the friends — who both went through public breakups this year — said the song resonated with Ballerini so much that one night over margaritas and Mexican food, Fletcher asked her if she’d want to write and record a feature on it and re-release it as a duet.
Ballerini instantly said yes, and they celebrated being able to keep their collaboration a secret until days before its November 18 release.
“I love the sentiment so much,” Ballerini said of the song. “We’ve had so many conversations about, just like, you know, when you’re in good love, like it means you’re supposed to give your best to hopefully make them the best version of themselves. And…when you’re in good love, it’s reciprocated.”
But, Ballerini said, “Better Version” crystallizes that moment after a breakup when “you kind of have hindsight” and realize all the work put into helping that person become a better version of themselves is actually just going to benefit their next partner.
After writing several versions of lyrics for her part in the song, the ones Ballerini and Fletcher chose to use seemingly reveal Ballerini’s experience being married to Evans, who is nine years older than her.
“I so related to it and loved being able to, like, write my own…little story into it,” she said.
In the new release, Ballerini sings, “I was there on the side of your stages / I grew up for our difference in ages / Never thought we were subject to changes / yeah and I did my best to fix it / ‘Til death ’cause then I meant it / Your next girl is gonna get you reinvented / and not pretendin.'”
She and Fletcher then sing the explicit chorus together, including, “Do you think of me when you f*** her? / Do you use the moves, the ones we learned? / It’s always the next person / That gets the better version.”
During their Instagram Live, they discussed the challenge of going through breakups as public figures and deciphering how much to share with fans. Ballerini said they’d both been “trying to navigate things very, like, honestly and vulnerably, because I feel like as songwriters and just as empaths, like, we want to put out art that is reflective of, like, our human experience and the truth of it.”
Kelsea Ballerini is Moving On With New Home & Career Announcements
Ballerini and Evans sold the home they lived together in Nashville, but according to Country Now, she bought a farmhouse after filing for divorce in August. She revealed she’d finally moved in via an Instagram post on November 16, writing, “made it home. to myself. to what’s ahead. let’s unpack and stay awhile.”
In her Instagram Live with Fletcher four days later, she revealed she was in her new house but living out of boxes, save for a “little nook” against a wall near her front door that she’d just finished setting up, including a glass table with favorite knick-knacks and a poster that says “Let that sh** go.”
“You’re in full ‘fresh start’ mode,” Fletcher said, who also brought up Ballerini’s recent Grammy nomination for Best Country Solo Performance as a reason to celebrate.
Ballerini said the fact the nomination is for her song “Heartfirst” is particularly special to her.
“I guess there have been so many, like, full circles and little breadcrumbs in my life recently where I’m…reminded that I’m on the right path,” she said. “And the fact that the song that got nominated for a Grammy is literally, like, about just staying soft and, like, trusting your heart no matter where it leads you, you know? And I’m just in such a season of change, obviously. So I just feel it’s really cosmic and really kind of the universe to throw me that bone.”
“Of course that’s the one getting recognized,” Fletcher responded. “What a beautiful way to, like, end this year, to enter a new chapter of your life. Like it’s just so, it’s really deserved. I’m really excited and I’m really proud of you.”
After she’s settled in her new home, Ballerini will join another one of her duet partners on tour in 2023. Country star Kenny Chesney announced on November 21 that he’s invited his “Half of My Hometown” partner to tour with him beginning March 25, 2023. Tickets go on sale for the tour on November 23.
In a release, Ballerini said, “Music has taken me so many incredible places. Around the world, singing with some of my heroes in pop, alternative and contemporary music, but singing with Kenny is going home.”