The Nashville star opened up to PEOPLE ahead of the release of her album, where she discussed the song with Chesney, "Half of My Hometown."

"We're both from Knoxville, Tennessee, which is why he's on the song," Ballerini said of teaming up with a childhood idol.

"Growing up, he was the hometown hero. A couple of years ago I was about to play [in Times Square], and he took a photo of my face on the marquee, got my number, texted me and said, 'Proud of you, hometown girl, love Kenny,'" she recalled.

"When I wrote 'Half of My Hometown,' I sent it to him because I think we grew up really similarly, and there's no one else I'd want on this song — and I can’t believe he did it," Ballerini added.

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