Kelsea Ballerini's branching out with CMA fashion, but Chris Young’s just hoping to avoid “worst-dressed” lists


As the 2021 CMAs loom, Kelsea Ballerini and Carly Pearce are two artists who say they’ll be trying something new with their fashion choices on the big night. Carly hints she’s keeping it straightforward with a “classy” look, but it’s going to be “in a color I’ve never worn before.”

“I’m going to wear all the weave, and it’s going to be — I’m excited,” she adds with a laugh.

Meanwhile, Kelsea’s taking risks with a “fashion forward,” “futuristic feeling” ensemble that she says is just one example of how she’s trying to push herself and grow.

“I’m trying to start doing [the glam aspect] myself. I did it myself on tour, and I really started enjoying the hair and makeup and stuff,” she explains. “I’m trying to push myself out of my comfort zone in every area of my life. And so I’m wearing this stunning dress that is like nothing I’ve ever worn.”

But not every artist has such lofty goals for their awards show night looks. Chris Young says that in the midst of a busy week, the awards show look is just one piece of the puzzle. “I don’t think people realize just how busy it is, with doing all the interviews and everything else,” he says.

“Making sure the rehearsals are good,” he adds with a laugh, “and making sure your clothes are correct, so you’re not gonna be on, like, the ‘worst-dressed’ list somewhere.”

The 2021 CMA Awards airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.

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