Kelsea Ballerini is a country pop singer and songwriter, known for her hits such as “Love Me Like You Mean It,” “Dibs,” and “Peter Pan.” Over the years, she has been linked to a few famous men, including singer Morgan Evans, who she eventually married in 2017. However, in early 2023, rumors started to circulate that Kelsea had a new man in her life. His name was Chase Stokes, an actor from Annapolis, Maryland, who had found fame as John B in the Netflix series Outer Banks.
The two stepped out together for the first time as a couple at the 2023 CMT Music Awards, where Kelsea was co-hosting with Kane Brown. Before the show, the couple walked the red carpet together, marking a significant moment in their relationship. But who is Chase Stokes, and how did he and Kelsea meet?
Meet Chase Stokes: From Ice Hockey Player To Actor
Chase Stokes was born on September 16, 1992, in Annapolis, Maryland. Growing up, he had dreams of becoming a professional ice hockey player, but a career-ending injury forced him to pivot to another passion: acting. He moved to Georgia and began taking acting classes, eventually landing small roles in shows like Stranger Things, Daytime Divas, and Tell Me Your Secrets.
In 2020, Chase got his big break when he was cast as John B in the Netflix series Outer Banks. The show follows a group of teenagers on a treasure hunt that leads to a dangerous adventure on the Carolina coast. John B is the show’s protagonist, and Chase’s performance earned him critical acclaim and a legion of fans.
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Chase And Kelsea’s Relationship Timeline
The country singer and the Outer Banks star first sparked romance rumors in early January 2023. On January 9, 2023, Kelsea and Chase attended a football game together at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. They were seen standing next to each other in a group photo shared by Todd Graves. The photo also included Stokes’ Outer Banks costars Jonathan Daviss and Austin North, as well as Dylan Sprouse and Zack Bia, the latter of which was previously connected to Stokes’ ex Cline.
A few days later, on January 13, Stokes seemingly confirmed their relationship by posting a photo of them cuddled up at the football game on Instagram. In the caption, he wrote, “lil recap,” and Kelsea commented, “go vols 🙈,” in reference to her hometown team.
The post sparked dating rumors, which Kelsea addressed on TikTok. She shared a screenshot from the celebrity gossip account DeuxMoi that featured anonymous tips about her and Stokes. “But what is happening you guys? What? What? No. Let’s not do this, you know?” she said before sighing and blowing a raspberry.
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Stokes also broke his silence on their relationship during an interview with TMZ. “She’s a sweet girl,” he said, adding, “We’re having a good time, and that’s all I’ll say.”
In March, fans captured Stokes singing along in the crowd at several of Ballerini’s concerts. The two also posted a handful of photos of them together on their Instagram accounts, including one of them holding hands backstage. During one concert, a fan captured Ballerini changing the lyrics to one of her songs to include a mention of Stokes’ Outer Banks character John B.