During her Grand Ole Opry induction on Tuesday evening (April 16), Kelsea Ballerini was congratulated and welcomed by several of her idols, including Carrie Underwood, who officially welcomed Ballerini to the hallowed organization and duetted with her onstage. However, Underwood wasn't the only one of Ballerini's mentors to show up: Her idol and former tour boss, Keith Urban, also made a surprise appearance during her special night.

Before she took the Opry stage, Ballerini explained that, as she embarks on her own headlining tour, she's incorporating many of the lessons she learned from her time on the road with other artists, including Urban. "I've gotten to open for Keith Urban and Kelly Clarkson for the last year and a half, who are two of my idols, and just be a sponge and learn from them," she tells The Boot and other outlets. "[I] just kinda picked up on what I wanted to be like in an arena."

Ballerini kicked off her first-ever headlining arena tour -- the 2019 Miss Me More Tour -- just a few days before her Opry induction, on April 11. "I did a theater tour last year, [and then going from theater tours to] arenas is a really big jump. I was really nervous because I hadn't seen a girl do that in a really long time," she explains.

However, as it turned out, she didn't have to worry: "When the first night sold out, I was like, 'Okay! This is the coolest thing ever,'" she recalls.

"It's just really fulfilling to know that you can write these songs about how you feel, and put a lot of work into it," Ballerini adds, "and people resonate with it and they connect with it enough to spend money on a ticket to come see it."

So far, Ballerini notes, there's been plenty of excitement on the road to counteract her nerves. "The first weekend of the tour was like a dream," she admits.

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