Melting the ice! Kelsea Ballerini and Chase Stokes packed on the PDA during their first official outing as a couple.
The country singer, 29, and the Outer Banks actor, 30, were spotted stealing a kiss on Thursday, March 2, while attending the New York Rangers game against the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The pair sat side by side, with Stokes keeping it casual in a checkered flannel jacket and brown cap. Ballerini, meanwhile, looked chic in all-black.
One day after the duo’s hockey date, the Netflix personality addressed the budding romance on the Today show. “Right across the street, on SNL, we have a pretty good show planned for tomorrow night,” Sheinelle Jones said on Friday, March 3, teasing Ballerini’s debut on the NBC sketch series.
When asked whether he’s a fan of the “Penthouse” artist, Stokes replied with a smile, “Absolutely I’m a fan. Yeah, who isn’t a fan?”
The Maryland native — who previously dated Outer Banks costar Madelyn Cline — was first linked to Ballerini in January after they were spotted together at the College Football Playoff National Championship game. The twosome went on to play coy about their status, leaving flirty social media comments and sneaking photos of each other in their Instagram uploads.
After weeks of speculation, Ballerini confirmed on “Call Her Daddy” that she and Stokes are dating — and revealed that she slid into his DMs last year. “His handle is ‘hichasestokes’ and I just said, ‘Hi Chase Stokes,’” she said on the February 22 podcast episode.
The Grammy nominee added that she was happy “just vibing” with the Beach House star. According to a source, neither Ballerini nor Stokes are putting any pressure on their relationship.
“Right now, they have a very no strings [attached] situation,” the insider exclusively told Us Weekly this month, adding that the couple are “rarely in the same place, so they’re still getting to know each other.”
Despite their busy schedules, the songwriter and Stokes “have a very flirty relationship” and “are staying in contact” as much as possible. “Kelsea does really like Chase though, he’s fun and carefree and she needs that,” the source added. “So there’s a very real possibility that they could date exclusively on the future.”
Ballerini was married to Morgan Evans for nearly five years before announcing their split in August 2022. She filed for divorce that month, and the proceedings were finalized in November 2022.
Since calling it quits, the musicians have traded barbs in their lyrics. Evans, 37, penned a breakup track titled “Over For You,” hinting that he was caught off guard by the divorce. Ballerini fired back in her song “Blindsided,” which was featured on her EP Rolling Up the Welcome Mat.
While reflecting on the aftermath of the split, the “Muscle Memory” singer confessed on “Call Her Daddy” that things got “messy” between her and Evans. “Who you marry is not who you divorce. As he’s putting out a song about being blindsided, he’s taking half the house that he didn’t pay for,” she claimed. “Hurt people, hurt people. I totally get that. … We cried, we hugged. It was sweet. And then something changed and I haven’t talked to him since.”
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Originally published at www.usmagazine.com