Kelsea Ballerini

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Kelsea Ballerini
Kelsea Ballerini in concert in 2017.jpg
Ballerini performing in 2017
Background information
Birth nameKelsea Nicole Ballerini[1]
Born (1993-09-12) September 12, 1993 (age 26)[2]
Mascot, Tennessee, U.S.
OriginNashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Years active2014–present
LabelsBlack River
Associated actsMorgan Evans
Websitekelseaballerini.com

Kelsea Nicole Ballerini (born September 12, 1993) is an American country music singer and songwriter. She released her first album The First Time in 2015, and her second album Unapologetically was released on November 3, 2017. She received a nomination for Best New Artist at the 2017 Grammy Awards. Ballerini's two albums have accounted for seven charted songs on the Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts. She has four No. 1 singles on the latter, starting with her debut single "Love Me Like You Mean It", which made her the first female artist to send a debut single to the top of that chart since Carrie Underwood in 2006. It was followed by "Dibs" and "Peter Pan", whose peaks also made her the first female country artist to send her first three singles to the top of that chart since Wynonna Judd. Ballerini's fourth No. 1 single is "Legends".

Early life[edit]

Ballerini grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee.[2] Her father, Ed, a former sales manager for a country radio station, is of part Italian descent.[3][4] Her mother, Carla, has worked in marketing for Thomas Nelson Bible publishing and a sponsorship company.[4] She is an only child. She started taking dance lessons at Premiere Dance Studio in Seymour, Tennessee when she was three and stopped ten years later.[5] She sang in the church and school choirs.[3] She wrote her first song at 12 for her mother[6] and moved to Nashville, Tennessee, three years later.[2] She attended Central High School in Knoxville, Tennessee; Centennial High School in Franklin, Tennessee; and then Lipscomb University for two years until she pursued a musical career.[7]

Career[edit]

2014–2016: Self-titled EP and The First Time[edit]

At 19, she signed a deal with Black River Entertainment.[2] In late 2014, she released her debut single "Love Me Like You Mean It", which debuted on the Country Airplay chart in October 2014.[8] She released a self-titled extended play for the label in November.[9] She was named one of CMT's Next Women of Country in 2014. She performed for the first time at the Grand Ole Opry on February 14, 2015, and sang "Love Me Like You Mean It".[3] On May 19, 2015, Ballerini's debut album The First Time was released through Black River. For the chart dated July 4, 2015, "Love Me Like You Mean It" , the album's first single, reached number one on the Billboard Country Airplay chart, making Ballerini the first solo female country music artist to score a number one hit with her debut single since Carrie Underwood did so with "Jesus, Take the Wheel" in 2006, and only the eleventh in history to achieve the feat.[10] Ballerini also became only the fifth solo female country music artist to score back-to-back number one hits with her first two singles when "Dibs", the second single from the album, reached the top of the Country Airplay chart. She became the first to do it since Jamie O'Neal in 2001.[11]

The album's third single, "Peter Pan", was released to country radio on March 21, 2016. "Peter Pan" reached number one on both the Country Airplay and Hot Country Songs charts in September, making Ballerini the first solo female country music artist to top both country music charts simultaneously.[12] This achievement also made her the first solo female to send her first three singles to number one since Wynonna Judd accomplished the same feat in 1992.[12] The album's fourth single, "Yeah Boy", was released to country radio on October 10, 2016.

2017–2019: Unapologetically, coaching The Voice, and joining the Grand Ole Opry[edit]

In early 2017, Ballerini was named to Forbes' 30 Under 30 – Music list at number two.[13][14] In 2017, Ballerini received two Academy of Country Music Award nominations for Female Vocalist of the Year and Video of the Year for "Peter Pan."[15]

In June 2017, Ballerini released "Legends" as the first single from her second studio album.[16] On November 3, she released her second album, titled Unapologetically.[17] The album debuted at number three on the Billboard Top Country Album Chart and number seven on the Billboard 200 Album Chart, making it her highest charting album on both charts.[18] The second single from the album, "I Hate Love Songs", was released in March.[19] In September 2018, she announced that she would be releasing a deluxe edition of the album with four new tracks.[20] On September 18, 2018, EDM-pop duo The Chainsmokers released a song titled "This Feeling" featuring Ballerini.[21] The third and final single from Unapologetically, "Miss Me More", was released in October 2018.[22] In October, she provided vocals on her husband Morgan Evans' song "Dance With Me".[23] In December 2018, Unapologetically received a nomination for Best Country Album at the 61st annual Grammy Awards.[24]

In the fall of 2018, Ballerini joined the fifteenth season of The Voice as the fifth coach. She coached six contestants who did not get a chair turn during The Blinds, in a new round called The Comeback Stage. The Comeback Stage was a digital companion series to the show.[25] In October 2018, Ballerini released the song "We Were Like".[26]

On March 5, 2019, Ballerini was invited by Little Big Town to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. On April 16, 2019 she was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry by Carrie Underwood.[27]

Ballerini embarked on the Miss Me More Tour in support of Unapologetically in April 2019.[28] The tour was a success, with Ballerni selling out multiple dates.[29] In June 2019, Ballerini was a guest on the NBC competition show Songland and released the song "Better Luck Next Time".[30]

2019-Present: "Homecoming Queen?" and Upcoming Third Album[edit]

In July 2019, Ballerini confirmed in an Instagram post that work on her third studio album was complete.[31] On September 6, 2019, Ballerini released the first single off her upcoming third album, titled "Homecoming Queen?" [32] The song debuted at number 22 on the Country Airplay chart, making it Ballerini's highest debut on the chart to date. [33] On November 8, Ballerini released the single "Club".[34]

Influences[edit]

Ballerini has been influenced by both artists in the pop music and country music field. Originally influenced by pop music, Ballerini states "I grew up on top 40 pop. I didn't know what country music was, which is so funny because I grew up on a farm in East Tennessee."[35] Ballerini lists Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and NSYNC among these early artists influencing her.[36][37] It was not until Ballerini heard "Stupid Boy" by Keith Urban that she decided to delve deeper into country music by listening to albums by Taylor Swift, Sugarland, and Dixie Chicks. Ballerini cites Shania Twain as her greatest influence.[38] She has also performed songs originally recorded by Alison Krauss and sang "Ghost in This House" alongside Krauss at the CMT Artists of the Year Awards in 2018.[39][40]

Personal life[edit]

Morgan Evans and Kelsea Ballerini in March 2016
Morgan Evans and Kelsea Ballerini during a Planet Country interview on the CMC Awards red carpet in March 2016 around the time their relationship started.

In March 2016, Ballerini began dating Australian country singer Morgan Evans. They became engaged on Christmas Day 2016[41] and were married on December 2, 2017, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications Sales
US Country
[42]
US
[43]
US Indie
[44]
AUS
[45]
CAN
[46]
UK
[47]
The First Time 4 31 4 33
Unapologetically
  • Release date: November 3, 2017
  • Label: Black River
  • Formats: CD, digital download, vinyl
3 7 2 12 18 50
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details Peak chart
positions
Sales
US Country
[42]
US Heat
[51]
Kelsea Ballerini
  • Release date: November 24, 2014
  • Label: Black River
  • Format: Digital download
40 12

Singles[edit]

As lead artist[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions Certifications Sales Album
US Country
[53]
US Country Airplay
[54]
US
[55]
CAN Country
[56]
CAN
[57]
NZ
Hot

[58]
2014 "Love Me Like You Mean It" 5 1 45 3 61 The First Time
2015 "Dibs" 7 1 58 8 96
2016 "Peter Pan" 1 1 35 4 75
"Yeah Boy" 9 3 65 2
2017 "Legends" 10 1 68 3 Unapologetically
2018 "I Hate Love Songs" 28 25 [A]
"Miss Me More" 7 2 47 1 70
2019 "Homecoming Queen?" 15 22 82 28 30 TBA
"Club"[77]
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Notes

  1. ^ "I Hate Love Songs" did not enter the Billboard Hot 100, but peaked at number 25 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart.[71]

As featured artist[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions Sales Album
US
[55]
AUS
[45]
CAN
[57]
NZ
[78]
SWE
[79]
UK
[47]
2018 "This Feeling"
(The Chainsmokers featuring Kelsea Ballerini)
50 17 39 25 38 63 Sick Boy

Other charted songs[edit]

Year Song Peak chart positions Album
US Country
[53]
2017 "Unapologetically" 32 Unapologetically
"High School" 28
2019 "Center Point Road"
(with Thomas Rhett)
31 Center Point Road

Other appearances[edit]

Title Year Artist Album
"First Time Again"[81] 2016 Jason Aldean They Don't Know
"Dance With Me"[23] 2018 Morgan Evans Things That We Drink To

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
2014 "Love Me Like You Mean It" (acoustic)[82] Robert Chavers
2015 "Love Me Like You Mean It"[83] Kristin Barlowe
"Dibs"[84] Robert Chavers
2016 "Peter Pan"[85] Kristin Barlowe
"Yeah Boy"[86]
2017 "Legends"[87] Jeff Venable
2018 "I Hate Love Songs" Chris Hicky
"Miss Me More" David McClister
"This Feeling" (with The Chainsmokers) Similar But Different
2019 "Homecoming Queen?" Shane Drake
"Club"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Ceremony Category / Nominated Work Result Ref.
2015 CMT Music Awards Breakthrough Video of the Year
"Love Me Like You Mean It"
Nominated [88]
Country Music Association Awards Female Vocalist of the Year [89]
New Artist of the Year [89]
American Music Awards Favorite Country Female Artist [90]
Billboard Women in Music Rising Star Won [91]
2016 ACM Awards New Female Vocalist of the Year Won [92]
Female Vocalist of the Year Nominated [93]
Teen Choice Awards Choice Music: Country Artist Nominated [94]
Choice Music: Country Song
"Peter Pan"
[95]
Country Music Association Awards Female Vocalist of the Year Nominated [96]
New Artist of the Year [96]
American Music Awards Favorite Country Female Artist Nominated [97]
2017 People's Choice Awards Favorite Country Female Artist Nominated [98]
Grammy Awards Best New Artist Nominated [99]
Radio Disney Music Awards Breakout Artist of the Year Nominated [100]
Country Favorite Artist Won [101]
Country Favorite Song
"Peter Pan"
Won [100]
Best Crush Song
"Yeah Boy"
Nominated [102]
Kids' Choice Awards Favorite New Artist Nominated [103]
iHeartRadio Music Awards Best New Artist Nominated [104]
Best New Country Artist Won
ACM Awards Female Vocalist of the Year Nominated [15]
Video of the Year
"Peter Pan"
Nominated
CMT Music Awards Video of the Year
"Peter Pan"
Nominated [105]
Female Video of the Year
"Peter Pan"
Nominated
CMT Performance of the Year
"You're Still the One/Any Man of Mine/Man! I Feel Like a Woman!"
with (Meghan Trainor, Jill Scott)
Nominated
ACM Awards Gene Weed Milestone Award Won [106]
Teen Choice Awards Choice Country Artist Nominated [107]
Country Music Association Awards Female Vocalist of the Year Nominated [108]
2018 ACM Awards Female Vocalist of the Year Nominated [109]
Video of the Year
"Legends"
Nominated
Radio Disney Music Awards Country Favorite Artist Won [110]
Country Favorite Song
"Legends"
Nominated [111]
Billboard Music Awards Top Female Country Artist Nominated [112]
Country Music Association Awards Female Vocalist of the Year Nominated [113]
American Music Awards Favorite Female Artist - Country Nominated [114]
2019 Grammy Awards Best Country Album
Unapologetically
Nominated [115]
CMT Music Awards Video of the Year
"Miss Me More"
Nominated [116]
Female Video of the Year
"Miss Me More"
Nominated [117]
Teen Choice Awards Choice Country Artist Nominated [118]
Choice Country Song
"Miss Me More"
Nominated [119]
Country Music Association Awards Female Vocalist of the Year Pending [120]

Tours[edit]

Headlining
  • The First Time Tour (2016)[121]
  • The Unapologetically Tour (2018)[122]
  • The Miss Me More Tour (2019)[123]
Supporting

Television appearances[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2016 CMC Awards 2016[131] Herself/Co-host Alongside Morgan Evans
2017–2019 CMA Music Festival: Country's Night To Rock Herself/Co-host Alongside Thomas Rhett
2018-2019 The Voice Herself The Comeback Stage Coach
Hell's Kitchen Herself VIP guest diner at the Red Team's chef's table; Episode: "Hot Potato"
The Voice Herself Team Kelly Battle Advisor
Songland Herself Episode: "Kelsea Ballerini"
TBA CMT Crossroads Herself Alongside Halsey

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