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Kelsea Ballerini has praised Kelly Clarkson for her response to the recent trend of fans throwing objects at artists during live performances. The country singer, 29, is among several artists who have faced “disrespectful” fan interactions on stage. In late June, Ballerini was hit in the eye by a bracelet that was launched by a fan during her Idaho concert. She eventually exited the stage, before returning to tell the audience: “All I care about is keeping everyone safe. If anyone’s pushing too much or you just have that gut feeling, just always flag it. Don’t throw things.”
Speaking to The Associated Press in a recent Q&A, Ballerini addressed the string of attacks, recalling a recent clip she had seen of Clarkson warning concertgoers at her Las Vegas residency that “if you’re going to throw anything on stage, it better be diamonds”. “I think she says it best,” Ballerini commended. “I think there has to just be like a mutual want to keep everyone safe. That’s kind of my biggest thing. Live shows are meant to be a place of escapism and connection and safety. And so that’s my job.”
She continued: “My job is to do a show for sure. But it’s also my job to make sure everyone’s safe and feels safe in that moment. So, yeah, I think it’s important for all of us to kind of have our conversations and figure out how to make that work, being mindful when you go to shows I think is really important. And if you’re gonna throw something, throw diamonds.”
Trying to make sense of the phenomenon, Ballerini posited that it has now become a “trend”. “So like, you see it happen to one of your favourite artists and then it just becomes a trend and people want to get the artist’s attention or just get attention. And so, I think that’s a very slippery slope,” she added.
Asked if this fan behaviour has made her reconsider wanting to perform in front of people, the “This Feeling” singer responded: “No, no, no, no. I just know it’s my job to keep everyone safe.”
Fellow musicians Adele and Charlie Puth were also quick to condemn the string of attacks, which included Bebe Rexha getting struck in the head with a phone, after which she suffered a black eye and required stitches. Days later, Ava Max was slapped by a stage invader while performing in Los Angeles. Then, Pink was bewildered when a fan threw their mother’s ashes on the stage as she performed as part of the British Summer Time festival in London’s Hyde Park.