Nick Jonas Recalls the 'Really Tragic' ACMs Performance with Kelsea Ballerini That Sent Him to Therapy
"I just went completely blank and I hit a wrong note," the musician recently said on the Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard podcast
Nick Jonas felt like a lost boy during a performance with Kelsea Ballerini that went wrong.
During the Jonas Brothers' new interview on the Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard podcast, the "Jealous" singer-songwriter opened up about his "worst moment" on stage and how it led him into therapy.
After looking back on a mishap that went down during a Cole Porter tribute where Nick forgot the words, he recalled joining country star Ballerini at the 2016 ACM Awards to play guitar and sing a duet version of her hit "Peter Pan."
"Then there was another time during a really tragic guitar solo debacle that happened on live TV," said Nick, now 30. "In retrospect, I can kind of laugh about how big I thought it was. But it did travel more than I wish it would have, and it did cause me to go to therapy."
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The performance went down three years after the Jonas Brothers' 2013 breakup, and Nick was gearing up to release his second solo album, Last Year Was Complicated. Ballerini, now 29, had released her debut album The First Time — featuring "Peter Pan" — the year prior.
"Kelsea and I had a couple performances together, and this was one of them. I come out for my thing. I rehearsed it a million times. I'm feeling really confident about it — not even really thinking about it like it's a thing that's going to be problematic," he recalled.
Nick continued, "I started off, it was fine and as I walked towards her, I just went completely blank and I hit a wrong note and blacked out basically and clocked that it was wrong and I couldn't stop."
"Til this day and hours after unpacking it, I can't really figure out exactly what happened, but I was rushed to a car and rushed to a plane right after it," added the musician. "I looked at my manager and said, 'I think that was bad.' I was, like, in shock kinda. It was a really traumatic moment that shaped the pressure I put on myself to be perfect and to always be on."
Since then, he's grown to not place so much pressure on himself. But at the time, he considered it a "worst moment."
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While Nick's mishap did make some headlines after the performance, Ballerini didn't seem to have any issue with it. Following the country awards show in 2016, she spoke to PEOPLE about how the moment fulfilled one of her childhood dreams.
"It was awesome," she said at the time. "It was my first big kid award show performance and I was so excited to do 'Peter Pan.' It's my favorite song I've gotten to release so far, and then to be able to share it with Nick — who is one of my favorite artists since I was like 12 — it was just super cool."
The pair has since gotten to make up for the moment, as Ballerini opened for the Jonas Brothers on the Remember This Tour in 2021. During the shows, they duetted his 2016 single "Close."
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