Kelsea Ballerini's Outfit Changes at the 2021 CMT Awards

The host — and performer, and winner! — brought the color in her extra-bright looks

kelsea ballerini
Photo: getty (3)

Who needs a spotlight when you have Kelsea Ballerini?

The CMT Music Awards co-host, 27, was a bright spot during Wednesday night's show in Nashville — literally. During her time on stage with co-host Kane Brown, she rocked five different looks, one more eye-catching than the other.

Ballerini kicked off the night (and the red carpet) in a pink pleather corset top/pants combo with matching Giuseppe Zanotti heels. It must've been good luck: she also wore it to accept the award for CMT performance of the year, for her 2020 CMT Music Awards duet of "The Other Girl" with Halsey.

From there, she slipped into a shimmering blue dress with coordinating earrings and eye shadow (below) for a rain-soaked performance of her new song, "I Quit Drinking," with Paul Klein of LANY.

Her third ensemble was a sparkly, long-sleeved creamsicle-orange mini paired with strappy sandals and statement earrings. She followed that one up with a tailored yellow suit and jeweled barrettes in her hair.

Her final look of the evening was possibly her most daring: a pink-and-gold belted peekaboo number that wrapped around her torso and arms. Not bad for someone who joked on Instagram on Tuesday, "Will I remember how to be out of sweatpants and use words in an arena of people?"

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Not to be outdone, her co-host Brown spent the night in a series of Dolce & Gabbana looks, first a gray plaid three-piece, single-button suit, next an aubergine tuxedo and lastly a dark blue pinstripe double-breasted suit, which he wore to accept the award for male video of the year for "Worship You." Brown also picked up collaborative video of the year for "Famous Friends" with Chris Young.

Be sure to check out PEOPLE's CMT Awards coverage to get the latest news on country music's big night.

Ahead of the CMT Awards, Ballerini and Brown — who hosted last year, too — both spoke of their excitement over being at an in-person event again after awards shows were sidelined in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Following a year-plus where we have not been able to be with the fans and share music together, makes this night even more special," she said.

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