Kelsea Ballerini and Chase Stokes’ romance is heating up in Italy.
The pair, who were first linked in January, were photographed together at Variety and the Golden Globes’ Venice Film Festival party on Thursday, August 31. In photos obtained by Daily Mail, Ballerini, 29, kissed a smiling Stokes, 30, on the cheek in one snap and posed with her arms around him in another.
The duo coordinated in black looks for the event. Stokes wore a double-breasted suit with a white shirt underneath and glasses while Ballerini looked elegant in a plunging strapless Yves Saint Laurent dress with a matching neck scarf.
Prior to her relationship with Stokes, Ballerini was married to Morgan Evans for nearly five years. Us Weekly confirmed in November 2022 that the exes had finalized their divorce three months after they announced their split. (Stokes, for his part, split from Outer Banks costar Madelyn Cline in October 2021 after more than one year of dating.)
When Ballerini released a six-song EP about her divorce titled Rolling Up the Welcome Mat in February, Stokes congratulated her. “So proud of you, your heart & your beautiful soul. Congrats kels ❤️,” he wrote alongside a photo of the pair shared via his Instagram Story at the time. “Rolling up the welcome mat now streaming.”
That same month, Ballerini addressed the twosome’s romance during an appearance on the “Call Her Daddy” podcast, revealing that she slid into Stokes’ Instagram DMs. “His handle is ‘hichasestokes’ and I just said, ‘Hi Chase Stokes,’” she shared.
The country singer later opened up about why she and the actor don’t feel the need to hide their relationship from the public.
“The thing that we’ve decided, and to each their own, is when you’re with someone that you feel secure with and that you’re proud to be with, why not share it?” she said during a July interview with StyleCaster. “He’s also a Virgo; we’re both Labrador Retrievers in human form. It doesn’t take much conversation to be on the same page. It’s been half a year and it’s been great.”
Ballerini also seemed to refer to her split from Evans, 38, in the interview, noting that the past year had been “a s—tstorm” for her. As for her dynamic with Stokes, it’s been a welcome reprieve from the chaos.
“They have a no-drama relationship and can just be themselves,” a source exclusively told Us in July. The insider added that although Ballerini and Stokes’ relationship is “serious,” they aren’t in a rush to take the next step. “They have no plans to get engaged any time soon,” the source said.