PHOTOS: Kelsea Ballerini’s Unapologetically High School Homecoming

2018 Tour Launches Feb. 8 in Alabama

Fans from 26 states and four foreign countries traveled to Knoxville, TN on Saturday (Oct. 28) to be part of Kelsea Ballerini’s Unapologetically album launch at her alma mater Central High School.

The rare concert was part of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development’s Snapchat Concert Series and its ongoing campaign, “The Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee.” Admission to the show was free through Tennessee Tourism’s Snapchat account and sold out in one minute.

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 28:  Singere-songwriter Kelsea Ballerini performs for Central High School presented by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development on October 28, 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for Tennessee Department of Tourist Development) John Shearer/Getty Images for Tennessee Department of Tourist Development
KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 28:  Singere-songwriter Kelsea Ballerini performs for Central High School presented by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development on October 28, 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for Tennessee Department of Tourist Development) John Shearer/Getty Images for Tennessee Department of Tourist Development
KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 28:  Kelsea Ballerini performs for Central High School presented by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development on October 28, 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for Tennessee Department of Tourist Development) John Shearer/Getty Images for Tennessee Department of Tourist Development

Ballerini’s concert included live selections from Unapologetically, which arrives on Friday (Nov. 3), as well as new arrangements from her gold-selling debut The First Time. Before singing Unapologetically‘s title song, she welcomed her fiancé Morgan Evans to the stage for a quick public display of affection.

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 28:  Morgan Evans surprises Kelsea Ballerini onstage while performing for Central High School presented by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development on October 28, 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for Tennessee Department of Tourist Development) John Shearer/Getty Images for Tennessee Department of Tourist Development

After her set, Ballerini returned to the stage with the school principal Michael Reynolds to surprise the school’s choral department with a $20,000 donation from the Academy of Country Music. Reynolds then surprised Ballerini with the school’s highest honor, the Bobcat Award. An opening set by rising artist Ryan Griffin kicked off the show. Griffin co-wrote Ballerini’s second hit, “Dibs,” and recently released his first EP Sake of the Summer.

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 28:  Kelsea Ballerini, iHeart Radio and The ACM's donate money to Central High School during her concert by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development on October 28, 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for Tennessee Department of Tourist Development) John Shearer/Getty Images for Tennessee Department of Tourist Development

Ballerini has plans to perform Unapologetically in its entirety on her 2018 tour of the same name. Walker Hayes will join Ballerini for the run, which kicks off Feb. 8 in Birmingham, AL. Her headlining debut at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium falls on the two-year anniversary of her Grand Ole Opry debut on Feb. 14 and will include an opening performance by Bailey Bryan. The tour wraps with a performance at the 2018 Stagecoach music festival in Indio, CA.

Here is a complete list of initial dates for The Unapologetically Tour:

Feb. 8: Birmingham, AL
Feb. 9: Chattanooga, TN
Feb. 10: Augusta, GA
Feb. 14: Nashville, TN
Feb. 16: Clearwater, FL
Feb. 22: Columbus, OH
Feb. 23: Milwaukee, WI
Feb. 24: Des Moines, IA

April 5: New York, NY
April 6: Sayreville, NJ
April 7: Richmond, VA
April 19: Portland, OR
April 20: Spokane, WA
April 21: Seattle, WA
April 25: Santa Barbara, CA
April 27: Indio, CA

Lauren Tingle is a Tennessean and storyteller who eats music for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When she’s not writing or rocking out, she enjoys yoga and getting lost in the great outdoors.