Kelsea Ballerini Debuts as TV Host on “Greatest Hits”

Kelsea Ballerini is taking a new gig—but it’s just temporary. The “Dibs” singer is co-hosting ABC’s new music show, Greatest Hits, with former talk show host Arsenio Hall.

“Basically they are highlighting the greatest hits from 1980 to 2005,” says Kelsea to Nash Country Daily. “So they have the artist that sang the hit come on and sing it or collaborate with a new artist or have an artist come in and honor that person.”


REO Speedwagon with Pitbull
REO Speedwagon with Pitbull

Each episode will highlight a five-year period celebrating the biggest hits from that time. The series premiere will kick off the six-week music event with hit-makers from 1980 to 1985, with performances by Pitbull, REO Speedwagon, Ray Parker Jr., Jason Derulo, Kenny Loggins, Kim Carnes, Rick Springfield and Kool & The Gang.

“There is Bonnie Raitt and Andra Day, Tori Kelly and Jewel,” Kelsea shares. “There’s Hanson—it’s incredible. They are singing their hits and there are a lot of collaborations, pairing an older artist with a newer artist. It’s not a competition show or an award show. It’s a show celebrating music and the hits that defined our time.”

Kelsea Ballerini and Arsenio Hall - Photo By Tyler Golden/ABC
Kelsea Ballerini and Arsenio Hall – Photo By Tyler Golden/ABC

Kelsea’s partner in crime for Greatest Hits is none other than actor and comedian Arsenio Hall. “I had never met Arsenio,” says Kelsea. “He’s exactly how I thought he was going to be. He’s awesome, he’s such a pro but he’s so quick-witted. I quickly realized, because I never hosted anything like this before, that the teleprompter is more of like a guideline [laughing]. We just kind of look at it and we’re like, ‘Cool,’ and then we say whatever we want and everyone’s like, ‘Oh gosh, here they go again.’ We just had a blast. It’s been awesome.”

But not to worry, Kelsea has no plans to leave singing for acting or television. “I enjoyed [hosting the show] because it’s a music show and I’m passionate about music. I’m real happy being an artist. I’m not an actress, never gonna happen ever. But yeah, it’s definitely been a great experience”

You can catch Greatest Hits when it premieres on Thursday night, June 30, on ABC at 9 p.m. ET.

Photos by Byron Cohen/ABC