Kelsea Ballerini Stands by CMT Performance with Drag Queens Despite Backlash
Kelsea Ballerini doesn’t regret her groundbreaking performance alongside drag queens on national television, and it definitely wasn’t a surprise to showrunners … TMZ has learned.
Sources with direct knowledge tell us … the backlash Kelsea’s getting for Sunday’s CMT Music Awards moment — having four “RuPaul’s Drag Race” queens come on stage during one of her performances — is falling on deaf ears … ‘cause she doesn’t regret it one bit.
We’re told Kelsea fully stands by her decision to feature the drag queens … which some folks in conservative circles have gone ballistic over — accusing CMT of going woke.
FWIW, the drag queens’ appearance was fully planned. Production sources tell TMZ … both CMT and CBS were extremely supportive of the cameo and knew about it from the get-go … we’re also told they’d been part of rehearsals since Friday.
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One of the drag queens, Manila Luzon, says it was actually Kelsea’s idea to involve them — and she did so cause she’s an ally. Manila says the drag queens were super happy with how things went and appreciate the network heads for giving them a platform in front of a new type of audience.
ML adds … country music is moving forward with the rest of the world. The performance was a celebration of love and a celebration of artistry.
The drag queens weren’t the only controversial part of the CMT Awards — Kelsea’s comments on gun control also drew the ire of some on the right.