Kelsea Ballerini Scores ACM Awards
Also Receives Academy of Country Music Visual Media Nod for “HEARTFIRST,” the Video Version of Her Acclaimed Single
Multiple Grammy nominee and Country Music Association Award winner Kelsea Ballerini picked up two nominations for this year’s Academy of Country Music Awards to be livestreamed from Texas on Amazon Prime Video. The young woman who won the ACM’s Top New Female and Gene Weed Milestone Award is nominated for a much-deserved Female Artist and the Visual Media Award for“Heartfirst,” the video rendering from her most recent album.
Always looking to push the envelope, the Academy’s recognition caps a year that’s seen the likable songwriter from East Tennessee write, co-produce, record and release the intimate Rolling Up The Welcome Mat, create a small film to tie the Welcome Mat songs together and make her “Saturday NightLive” debut. On the road, she’s been selling out major market venues, with demand so great that she added another leg to her HEARTFIRST Tour following her role as direct – and sole — support on Kenny Chesney’s I Go Back 2023 tour, which focuses on the markets where the 8-time Entertainer of the Year built his own touring juggernaut.
“You get so busy creating and making music, you sort of forget about awards and this kind of thing,” says Ballerini, who just released the nostalgia forward “If You Go Down (I’m Goin’ Down, Too)” video. “And then you get a call or a text telling you you’re nominated, and it’s like the first time all over again!”
“Even more than winning, just the idea of being recognized by your peers and the industry, all the other people who know how much of your life and soul go into this is the best feeling. You create for you – and the fans – of course. But anyone who says they don’t care what the songwriters and musicians, radio, touring, and record company think would be lying.”
Having just been the subject of a major New York Times profile, the realer-than-real vocalist and writer appreciates her peers responding to her records and creative risks. Never one to play it safe, she’s run a gauntlet of collaborators and co-writers to emerge as one of the freshest voices in music. Country at its heart, Ballerini really delivers the heart of American music to young people coming into their own across the nation.
Hailed by media from Rolling Stone to Good Housekeeping, People to The Washington Post and American Songwriter, the Black River Entertainment artist continues pushing herself forward. Drawing from her own life and those of the people she works with, The New York Times assessed, “The country singer and songwriter has long tested Nashville’s boundaries while revealing herself to her listeners” and writes, “she’s finding new heights.”
“Like ‘half of my hometown’ says: I’ll always be Knoxville, Tennessee,” Ballerini offers. “I have very big dreams, but that doesn’t change the woman I am, or the girl who’s still inside me. Yes, I want crazy things, but I never want to lose myself. I think between the surprise of how much people have liked Rolling Up The Welcome Mat and the fans who come out for the shows, they remind me how special that is.
And a moment like this, being nominated for an award I’ve always dreamed of winning, and another for something so creative? Well, that tells me the people I respect and think so much of think I’m on the right track.”