Girl Power! Female Vocalist of the Year Nominees Reba McEntire and Kelsea Ballerini Crush Duet During CMA Awards

The pair are both up for the CMAs' female vocalist of the year award, but it's clear there's nothing but love between Kelsea Ballerini and Reba McEntire

Two competitors joined forces onstage at the CMA Awards!

Country-music legend Reba McEntire and five-time CMA Awards nominee Kelsea Ballerini took the stage together on Wednesday night to perform a duet of Ballerini’s song “Legends.”

The pair are both up for one of the biggest awards of the night, female vocalist of the year, but it’s clear that there’s nothing but love between the two stars.

Ballerini, 24, and McEntire have both done their fair share of praising each other and have nothing but kind things to say about their respective singing partner — they’ve even grabbed drinks together!

51st CMA Awards - Arrivals
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In an interview with, Ballerini shared her feelings about what it’s like to be nominated alongside McEntire. “We’re not competition. She wins everything,” Ballerini simply stated. (Miranda Lambert and Maren Morris round out the list of five ladies up for the award Wednesday night.)

“I always say awards shows are like a snapshot of country music right then, and to be in a snapshot of country music with Reba and Carrie Underwood, that’s never going to be casual.”

Ballerini has said before that she’s a fan of the 50-time CMA award nominee, and it sounds like the feeling is mutual. Backstage during rehearsals for country music’s biggest night, McEntire spoke highly of Ballerini and the song they performed together onstage.

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“I think she’s a terrific young lady, very talented singer-songwriter, and I love the song,” declared McEntire, 62. “I’ve seen the video, and it is just so emotional. I hope everybody likes our performance as much as I’m going to enjoy getting to sing with her.”

Ballerini recently released her sophomore album, Unapologetically, and McEntire took to Twitter to voice her support for the singer, “My #CMAAwards duet buddy @KelseaBallerini has a new album out today,” McEntire wrote. “Check it out! #UNAPOLOGETICALLY”

The CMA Awards are airing live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, on ABC.

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