Friends no more.
Kelsea Ballerini released her album Subject to Change on Sept. 23, and one song in particular is raising eyebrows. In the track "Doin' My Best," the country star hints at a broken friendship, singing, "I was friends with a pop star / I put 'em on track four, but / Wish I could take it back, I woulda never asked / If I knew we wouldn't talk anymore."
Internet detectives hypothesized that the unnamed pop star is Halsey, who joined Kelsea on "The Other Girl," the fourth track on her 2020 album, Kelsea.
Without confirming the person's identity, Kelsea spoke about the song on Audacy's Rob + Holly Show Sept. 15, saying, "The intention behind that lyric—because I do feel like I do have to say this—it is not meant to be a shady lyric."
"The whole idea of that song—just because that song is going to be one that people talk about and I know that—it's the idea of taking ownership of my cringe," she continued. "I wanted to acknowledge all of the things that people have watched happen in my life and just go, 'Yep. Here's the messiness. I'm owning it, I'm doing my best.'"
E! News has reached out to Halsey's and Kelsea's reps for comment and has not heard back.
Kelsea also spoke to Rolling Stone about what inspired her to get so personal in her music. "It's all already out there." she said in comments posted Sept. 23. "Putting the last album out the week the world shut down and having a season of darkness after that is out there. The fact that I'm going through a divorce is out there. Having famous friends that I post about all the time and then they're no longer in my life is out there...So why not take ownership of that?"
Kelsea and Halsey's friendship over the last few years resulted in a much-celebrated collaboration. In 2019, they performed together for the series CMT Crossroads, including the duet "The Other Girl." The following year, the song was released as a single and the singers performed it again with a Coyote Ugly-themed set at the CMT Music Awards.
Also in 2020, the two spoke to CMT radio personality Cody Alan about their friendship. "I think that what we do now makes where we come from feel, not all that different," Halsey said. "Kelsea and I are the types to be like, 'Do you want to go get a burger and hang out at my house?'"
Kelsea added, "And not talk about anything that's like, 'work.'" Halsey concluded, "So, that's Jersey, and that's Tennessee. That's where we come from, it's working-class people."
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