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Kelsea Ballerini : Top 15 Things She Wants You To Know

Updated on September 25, 2016


Kelsea Ballerini

Born Kelsea Nicole Ballerini on 12 September 1993 in Mascot, Tennessee, USA. Her father is part Italian.

Growing Up

She was raised in Knoxville, Tennessee. She took dance lessons as a child and sang in the church and school choirs. At nineteen she signed a deal with a record label. Her debut single "Love Me Like You Mean It", which she co-wrote, went to number one on the Billboard country charts. She is one of only 11 people in the Billboard country chart history to achieve that honour. Her debut album entitled "The First Time" was released in 2015.

Her First Song

I grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee and we had this little house with this big huge piece of land. Just grew up with southern roots. I swear I was going to be a vet. I love animals. I never thought I would be a singer songwriter. The first song that I ever wrote was something for me that I cherished. I was thirteen and my parents were getting divorced. There was this breaking moment for me where I was sad and broken and the sadness just kinda came one moment. I remember I went upstairs and wrote this song called "Bring On The Rain". Before that I was just in pieces and after that I was fine. That's when I realised it was more than just the passion of mine. It was something that, I believe, was a gift I was given at that point in my life to cope and to deal with things and to let things go.

Big Pink Sparkly Guitar Case

I'm fourteen and my mum wanted to get some of the songs that I'd written demo'd. We were at this little company in Knoxville and the guy was from Nashville. He said, "I'd be happy to record these songs for you, but is this what you want do with your life. If it is I want to bring you to Nashville."
I auditioned at the label with a big pink guitar case and guitar I could hardly play. The guy looked at me and said, "There's already a Taylor Swift." I was so discouraged. I walked out and just wanted to go home. Then I just kept writing and writing and writing.

Return To Nashville

I went back to Nashville with a couple of songs I really believed in, in my back pocket. That's when I knew I was ready. This is what I wanted to do.

Great Quote

The greatest gift I've been given his being naive, because I don't know what I can't do. When you don't know what you can't do, you think you can do everything.


My idea on how to get connected in the industry. It was to friend people on Facebook. I would take any meeting anyone would have with me. I was just so hungry to network.

Note: When meeting with anyone, she is referring to auditions and her career. As opposed to meeting any random stranger from the internet, which you should never do. But you know that anyway....right.

At Fifteen

All summer what I would do. I would wake up in the morning, get my coffee and watch music videos. Then at night I would get concert DVDs, anyone Beyoncé, Taylor, Justin Bieber and I would just watch them over and over and over. My love of touring came out of that. Just watching the bells and whistles and how they will come up from the stage. When everyone would go away and it was the spotlight and just them and guitar. How everyone did it differently. That fascinated me.

I've always just like being super drawn to such a really cool and empowering females from every genre.

"Love Me Like You Mean It" Becomes Number One

I was on my bus. I knew that it was Number 2 and it was either going to happen or it wasn't. So I was trying to mentally prepare for both. Then I got the call from my label and there's this video of me just totally crying. Yeah, because it's just like a big victory. It's not just me, it's like my whole team and the writers that I wrote it with.

Beauty Advice

My rule is you either play up your eyes or you play up your lips. You either do a red lip and a nude eye or a nude lip and a big eye.

Signing With Black River Entertainment

I was so drawn to being part of something from the very beginning. Most of the time the artist signs to a big label and the artist is the new one. I was so drawn to just growing with Black River. They've been around for several years. I wanted to be one of the first artists that they launched. So it's been this really fun process of being together and growing together. It was both of our first Number Ones, so it's like this extra special and sweet celebration.

Pre-Stage Ritual

Me and my band get together on our bus. We all shove up in the front lounge. Then we crank rap music- this is not a joke -and we dance for, like, five minutes. Ridiculous and we just call it getting the jitters out. Just dance like crazy. It's a bit embarrassing, but it helps get it all out and you feel all pumped up.

On Stage With Taylor Swift

I was one of her special guests in Nashville during the 1989 tour. Gosh! it was so cool. It was in the arena where I'd seen all her tours as a fan before. Just to be able to sing my song with her on that stage was a really cool moment I'll never forget.


I think the cool part of this last year has been crossing them off for the first time ever. Grand Ole Opry, I got to cross off. The first record, I got to cross off. The thing about crossing off goals is making you want to make more goals. I'm definitely in the process of doing that.

New Generation Of Women In Country

I wouldn't even think to be an artist if I didn't have people like Faith Hill, Taylor Swift and Shania Twain to look up to. It's really cool to be part of this new wave and this new generation. We're all in this together. We're like the next women, we're all friends and it's really fun.

Knoxville : The Place Where Kelsea Was Born

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Knoxville, TN, USA
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