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“My favorite”: Kelsea Ballerini and Kenny Chesney hit #1 with “Half of My Hometown”

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Ethan Miller/Getty Images for ACM

Kelsea Ballerini and Kenny Chesney have ascended to #1 on the country charts with “Half of My Hometown,” and it’s got Kelsea all in her feels. 

The personal song chronicles Kelsea’s upbringing in Knoxville, TN and marks her seventh #1 hit on country radio, and Kenny’s 35th. 

To celebrate its success, Kelsea posted a sincere reflection on Instagram about why “Hometown” is her “favorite” among her hits. “Sometimes leaving is the only way you understand the importance of where you’re from. If you want to know more about yourself, go back and find it. Wherever you put your roots down, honor them. Water them. It doesn’t have to look like your neighbors,” she shares in a series of bullet points. 

“My years in Knoxville shaped my creativity, my drive, and my sense of self. I wouldn’t be doing this had I grown up anywhere else,” she continues. “Leaving at 15 to go chase this dream down was the hardest and best decision I’ve ever made.” 

Kelsea goes on to praise her duet partner and fellow Knoxville native, recalling how she used to listen to Kenny’s 1996 cover of “Back Where I Come From” in her parents’ Jeep growing up. “@kennychesney you showed up in every way for this song and have become such a friend and brother through it,” Kelsea praised, also thanking country radio, her team and co-writers Shane McAnally, Nicolle Galyon, Ross Copperman and Jimmy Robbins

“Half of My Hometown” is nominated for Music Event of the Year at the ACM Awards, airing Monday night at 8 p.m. ET on Amazon Prime Video.

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