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Kelsea Ballerini Unveils Hummingbird Back Tattoo at 2023 VMAs

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Kelsea Ballerini. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for MTV

Kelsea Ballerini used the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards as a perfect opportunity to show off her new tattoo.

Ballerini, 30, revealed her new ink on Tuesday, September 12, on the pink carpet when she turned around and gave fans a glimpse of the hummingbird artwork. The delicate tattoo is featured on her mid-back and shows the bird flapping its wings.

During the awards show, the country star took to Instagram and posted a picture of the ink. In the image, she peered over her shoulder and smiled at the camera. “New lil hummingbird tattoo reveal. Thanks,” she captioned the post while tagging her tattoo artist, Michelle Santana.

For the night out in Newark, New Jersey, , Ballerini sported a red custom Mônot gown, featuring a halter neckline, keyhole cutout, open back, fitted skirt and gorgeous train. She accessorized with chunky gold bracelets and topped the getup off with brown glittery eyeshadow, glossy lips and soft waves.

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Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for MTV

Ballerini posed with boyfriend Chase Stokes on the red carpet, with the couple not afraid to pack on the PDA.

Tuesday certainly didn’t mark the first tattoo Ballerini has unveiled. In January, she shared that she got a new tattoo during a “Ask Me Anything” Q&A with followers. I got a little wave on my hip,” she wrote alongside a bikini selfie at the time. “I’ve been wanting it since 2016 and just randomly one day did it.”

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Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Ballerini explained that although she “kinda wants more” tattoos, she doesn’t want “my mom to kill me.”

She previously opened up about her first tattoo during a September 2022 appearance on The Late Late Show. She explained to host James Corden that the idea came to her while she was getting ready for her first-ever photo shoot. At the time, she was speculating that if she did the shoot with no tattoos and later got one that people would think she went “off the deep end.”

She got the tattoo, and even though it’s “so much bigger” than she wanted and not the right font, she “wanted to be the same from the beginning.” The ink is written in cursive letters and reads, “How sweet the sound.”

She also has the words “Love. Love,” tattooed on her ribcage in her parents handwriting.

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