Kelsea Ballerini's new beau, actor Chase Stokes, played the role of behind-the-scenes proud boyfriend during her Saturday Night Live debut on Saturday (March 4).

After Ballerini's live, televised performances of two of her new songs, "Blindsided" and "Penthouse," she shared some snapshots from backstage, including plenty of photos of Stokes.

In one shot, Ballerini shows a sweet kiss that the two shared during their trip to New York City. In the photo, Ballerini has changed from her stage clothes into a glittery red top, and Stokes plants a big smooch on her cheek as she smiles.

In a slideshow of photos posted to her main feed, Ballerini also includes a shot of herself and her mom, Carla, sitting at a dinner table. The singer's wearing the same red outfit, and the background of the two photos look identical, so it's likely she was out at a post-SNL celebratory dinner with her mom and new actor boyfriend when the photos were taken.


Stokes appears in a few more snapshots from Ballerini's time in New York, too. In one image, he's standing in the background as Ballerini says hello to two women. In another, the couple share an affectionate moment in what appears to be a dressing room, Ballerini wearing the same sheer black outfit that she rocked onstage during her performance of "Blindsided."

In a third photo, Ballerini and Stokes take swigs of their drinks with Kansas City chiefs Super Bowl-winning tight-end Travis Kelce, who hosted the episode of Saturday Night Live in which the country singer gave her performance.

Over on his social media, Stokes was brimming with pride about his country star girlfriend's accomplishments.

"QUEEN s--t," he writes in one Instagram Stories slide. "[Kelsea Ballerini] you did the f--king damn thing."


While Stokes certainly didn't mind playing hype man to Ballerini as she made her SNL debut, he had some professional reasons of his own to be in New York City that weekend, too. On Friday (March 3), he appeared on Today to discuss the new season of his Netflix show, Outer Banks. During that interview, he briefly confirmed that he and Ballerini are dating, and said he's a fan of her musical work, too.

"Absolutely I'm a fan," Stokes remarked, when asked about Ballerini. "Yeah, who isn't a fan?"

Ballerini's performances on SNL came from her new EP, Rolling Up the Welcome Mat, which is a searing and brutally honest collection of songs about her divorce from fellow country singer Morgan Evans.

8 Brutally Honest Divorce Lyrics From Kelsea Ballerini's 'Rolling Up the Welcome Mat' EP

Kelsea Balerini opened up her divorce diary in February 2023 with her Rolling Up the Welcome Mat EP, a project that follows the stages of a breakup — from grief and loneliness to anger to acceptance — in chronological order. Here are eight of the most revealing lyrics from the project.

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