EXCLUSIVE: Kelsea Ballerini Turns Up the Heat at ACM Honors in Sexy Red Gown: 'It Was Time'

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Kelsea Ballerini at ACM Honors
Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for ACM

Hello, siren!

Kelsea Ballerini turned up the heat in a red-hot number at the 11th Annual ACM Honors in Nashville, Tennessee, on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old country star decided it was finally time to step out in "a red look," and did she ever deliver on the moment! Ballerini stunned in the bold, low-cut halter dress by Dennis Basso that featured roses along the neckline and a thigh-high slit.

She paired the frock with matching red strappy Stuart Weitzman heels and rose gold jewelry from Gabriel NY, and kept her beauty look simple, wearing her hair in loose waves and rocking a nude lip with smoky eyes.

Kelsea Ballerini at ACM Honors
Photo: Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for ACM

"It was time," Ballerini told ET's Sophie Schillaci on the red carpet.

"There's lots of tape happening," she jokingly added. "I wanted an adult moment... [but], yeah, lots of tape!"

The sultry gown also showed off her right rib tattoo, which she had previously kept covered up at red carpet events despite having the ink for a few years.

"It's 'love' in my mom and dad's handwriting," she explained of the body art's significance. "And I got it the week that 'Love Me Like You Mean It' went number one. So it was feelings, you know? Lots of feelings."

Kelsea Ballerini at ACM Honors
Photo: Erika Goldring/FilmMagic

The "Yeah Boy" singer had plenty of feels during the awards show, where she was given the Gene Weed Milestone Award in honor of her success as a songwriter and recording artist. The young singer has already scored three consecutive No. 1 singles in her burgeoning career. 

"I feel like this award show is different, because it's really all about the music industry and Nashville and not just the artist, but the songwriters, the musicians, the legends that have kind of built up what country music is right now," she told ET ahead of the ceremony, where she also performed. "I've been a part of the event in different ways for a few years, but this is the first year that I'm getting honored, and I'm really nervous. It's a different kind of nerves."

Any butterflies seem to have flown away by the time she hit the stage. Ballerini slayed her performance, which opened with her newest single, "Legends," and included a medley of her hits, "Love Me Like You Mean It," "Dibs" and "Peter Pan."

She even swapped into another eye-catching ensemble for the show: a low-cut gold sequined bodysuit and black pants from Elisabetta Franchi, a Gabriel & Co. choker and gold Jasmine Elizabeth heels.

Kelsea Ballerini performing ACM Honors
Photo: Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for ACM

This week has also brought major news for one of her closest music advocates, Taylor Swift, who will be releasing her sixth album, Reputation, in November -- just one week after Ballerini drops her sophomore album, Unapologetically

"I'm so excited for her... It's gonna be really cool to be able to come out at the same time and do the award show circuits together, because it's girl time," Ballerini said. "It's awesome."

Sadly, there aren't any collaborations between the two on the horizon, but the blonde beauty does have a big duet coming up: her wedding! Find out more about her upcoming nuptials in the video below.