Kelsea Ballerini's career has been unstoppable in recent years. She's been ripping through Nashville like a tornado ever since her impressive debut single, "Love Me Like You Mean It," was the first debut to hit the top of the charts since Carrie Underwood. The pop-country star is definitely a force to be reckoned with, which is probably why she's received consistent award nominations since 2015 at the CMT Music Awards, Grammys, CMA Awards, and ACM Awards. Our favorite Kelsea Ballerini songs are full of genre-bending hits, touching ballads, and award-nominated songs that prove that she's really one of the great voices of her generation.
Outside of her incredible career, the "Legends" singer temporarily found happiness in her personal life with fellow country singer Morgan Evans. After coming together over a mutual love of country music and tequila, these two became one of the most popular romances in Nashville. The former couple even occasionally came together to perform duets which made them easy favorites for country fans to rally behind. It came as a shock when the couple revealed publicly that they had decided to end their marriage after nearly five years together. Here's a look back at the former country couple and some of the big moments from their relationship leading up to their 2022 breakup.
The first meeting in 2016
Ballerini and Evans met for the first time when they co-hosted Australia's Country Music Channel Awards show in 2016. Sparks were flying when they partied together later that night at the after-party. Tequila was ample and an instant connection formed between the two singers.
"He was like, 'Let's take a shot,'" Ballerini told People. "I remember taking that shot and putting it down and looking at him like, 'Oh...he's super hot.' Later that night he leaned over and asked if he could kiss me, like a proper gentleman, and I said yes."
A sweet engagement
Less than a year later, the Australian country singer proposed to Ballerini. She posted a sweet announcement on her social media, showing off her incredible engagement ring.
"This morning, 9 months and 13 days later, he got down on one knee in the kitchen while I was burning pancakes and asked me to marry him. Loving him has been the greatest gift of my life. And now I get to do it for life. #HECALLEDDIBS"
Evans told PeopleStyle that he had the ring custom-made, especially for his bride.
"I had the ring custom made with a diamond I picked from a local designer here in Nashville," Evans shared. "I wanted it to be classic and beautiful, like her.
Saying "I Do" in 2017
The happy couple was married on the beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in 2017. As an homage to their first connection, they celebrated with tequila shots. Evans told People that they both cried as they recited their personal vows at the altar.
"Kelsea's vows were, as you would expect, poetic, sweet — like, mindblowingly good. our officiant was like, 'Hey, Morgan, beat that!'" says Evans. "I said mine, and I was going to finish with a few lines of the first song I wrote for her ['Dance with Me']. I got halfway through them, and she started to lose it, then I started to lose it — so I ended up having to cut it a little bit short!"
The couple seemed to be going strong for nearly 5 years after their wedding. While Ballerini was busy releasing new albums and collaborating with everyone from Halsey to Kenny Chesney on "Half of My Hometown," Evans has also been busy with his music career. After officially moving to Nashville to be with his wife, he signed with Warner Music Nashville in 2017. His debut US single "Kiss Somebody" was a massive hit, reaching No. 3 on the US Country Airplay Billboard chart. His single "Diamonds" is a love song for Ballerini that was released in November 2019.
Calling it quits in 2022
On Aug. 29, 2022, Ballerini took to Instagram to share the news that her public marriage had come to an end. It was a shock for fans, but the country star asked for grace while she and Evans worked on moving on and healing from the experience.
"Friends, I've always tried my best to share my life with you in a real and vulnerable way, while also protecting layers of my personal life as they unfold. This is now public record so I wanted you to hear from me directly that I am going through a divorce," Ballerini wrote.
"This deeply difficult decision is the result of a journey of love, growth, and effort that ultimately has come to an end. It's hard to find the words here...but I feel extremely grateful for the years of marriage to Morgan and hopeful for the next seasons. With very active schedules coming up, please be mindful that we are both fragile, actively healing, and showing up the best we can."
Ballerini had been open in the past about how she and Evans both went to therapy but it seems that sometimes the relationship has run its course and its time to make tough calls.
"Honestly, we both go separately, we go together. I think it's really important. Obviously, we have a strange life," Ballerini told Extra. "We are both really busy and don't get to spend as much time together... And just trying to find the things that work for us."
This article was originally published in June of 2020. It was updated on Nov. 9, 2022.
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