Kelsea Ballerini has some insightful words to share with emerging artists in country music.
Ballerini has been a force in the genre since coming onto the scene in 2014 with her debut single, “Love Me Like You Mean It,” which became the first debut single by a female artist to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart in nearly 10 years. Since then, the Knoxville native has accumulated seven No. 1 singles on country radio and had all four of her studio albums reach the top five on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.
With all her success comes wisdom, which she shared with the many rising female country artists at the 2023 CMT’s Next Women of Country showcase. “I would say ask questions,” Ballerini replied to a question about advice she has for new artists. “I think staying curious and never feeling like you know what’s going on is really important. Always surrounding yourself with people that you feel know better than you, but also having that combination of trusting yourself is chef’s kiss.” She built on this point, reiterating that “staying curious” and always expanding one’s knowledge of the industry and their place in it is the key to growth.
“Learning how things work, learning how things evolve, learning how you want to make things evolve and push boundaries I think it’s all really important,” the 2015 Next Women of Country inductee professes. “I’m still learning. I’m still a next woman.”
Ballerini will continue to add to her skillset when she spends the spring and summer opening for her “half of my hometown” duet partner and fellow East Tennessee native Kenny Chesney on his I Go Back Tour that kicks off on March 25 and visits arenas and amphitheaters around the U.S. until July 22.
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