Kelsea Ballerini Knew Chase Stokes Was ‘The One’ the Minute He Stepped ‘Straight Out the Bronco’

2024-04-11T19:54:59+00:00April 11th, 2024|News|

The country singer and “Outer Banks” star have been dating more than a year.

The annual CMT Music Awards have become a special place for Kelsea Ballerini and boyfriend of more than a year Outer Banks star Chase Stokes. Just days after hosting the show again, the “I Quit Drinking” star told E! News that their first big public outing was the 2023 edition of the CMTs, “so it kind of felt like a little full circle and we’ve gotten to live a lot of life together in that year.”

Most importantly, though, Ballerini, 30, was asked to pinpoint the moment she knew Stokes, 31, was “the one” for her. “We’re so happy and you know we both have big lives and we’re both trying to weave through it together and give each other our own space to thrive and grow,” she said and, when pressed for more detail, added, “straight out the Bronco.”

The latter was a reference to their first date in Jan. 2023 in L.A., the day after she’d flow out to perform at a party. “I had just gotten done playing and he was like, ‘I”m the valet,’” she said on the Call Her Daddy podcast in November. Worried their phone chemistry might not manifest in person, Ballerini said the moment Stokes got out of his truck she was hooked. “He hopped out of his Bronco, and he did not say a word to me,” she said. “And he grabbed my face and he kissed me and he pulled my face away and he said, ‘Thank God you’re real.’”

Ballerini hosted the CMT Music Awards for the fourth time on Sunday night and in the E! interview she said her “final” time as MC was fun and loose. “I felt comfortable. It was the most present I felt. I had fun. I riffed a little bit,” she said of her calm demeanor at the show that was dominated by Jelly Roll’s three wins and the “Need a Favor” singer’s first awards show performance.

Ballerini and Stokes went public with their romance in Feb. 2023 and since then they’ve walked a number of red carpets together and frequently chronicled their love affair on their socials. The singer gushed about the joy of having Stokes on hand to support her on Sunday, noting that he caught a flight before the show was over to jet back to work the next day. “He shows up,” she said.

She also gave a glimpse into the couple’s private life, which she said often consists of hanging out at home in Nashville or Charleston and playing Yahtzee and hanging around with their dogs. Reminded that she filmed their first date together, Ballerini was asked to give some advice to other women for their first dates. “Honestly? Go in knowing you got you,” she said. “If it works, it’s meant to and if it doesn’t you’ve still got you. And I think that’s the most important thing.”

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