Kelsea Ballerini Returns, Reunites with Noah Kahan Following Incandescent Academy of Country Music Performance

(Nashville): Multiple GRAMMY nominee Kelsea Ballerini delivered an incandescent performance on the 2024 Academy of Country Music Awards, merging her “Mountain With A View” with "Best New Artist" GRAMMY nominee Noah Kahan and his breakthrough “Stick Season.” The pairing of the genre-blurring singer/songwriters demonstrated so much chemistry, their collaboration suggested that the two distinct vocalists should explore a song of their very own.

And as usually the way with creative forces who use songs to explore the dynamic of the human condition, it wasn’t long before Kelsea, Kahan and producer/songwriter Alysa Vanderheym were crafting a languid midtempo song that allows for the full range of emotions for the toughest of all men. The rambling, fiddle-threaded, dobro-enhanced “Cowboys Cry Too (with Noah Kahan)” offers a moment of genuine vulnerability and embrace.

Listen to “Cowboys Cry Too (with Noah Kahan)” HERE via Black River Entertainment.

Two of American music’s most recognizable vocalists, it’s worlds colliding. Whether Kelsea's ethereal alto rising or Kahan’s pure confessions, the vocalists come together to express why honesty is such a powerful – if intimidating – reality. Each sings of a reality being in love feels like from their perspectives, the weight of expectations and flood of letting go.

"In our world and culture and echo chamber of highlight reels and pretty things, sometimes real feelings start to feel like something you just set aside or push down to keep up." Kelsea begins. "Especially the way so many men grow up, that kind of toxic masculinity mindset of 'saddle up, brush it off'. I wanted to write my perspective and essentially celebrate the vulnerable men in my life, and Noah adding his really unfiltered perspective into it just brought it to life in a more meaningful and beautiful way."

Kahan continues, “It’s the writers who are willing to go to the awkward places that inspire me. Kelsea is one of those, and I knew if we could find something we both believed to sing, it would expand how we look at the way we live, what society decides and we should reject. ‘Cowboys Cry Too’ is everything I believed our collaboration could be.”

With a bridge that converges their realities with “Blame it on their fathers/ the ones that said they’d stay/ Or blame it on the songs that tell you they all ride away/ But mine ain’t that way,” the ethereal harmonied song delivers both healing and (self)compassion. In a world of faster, tougher, meaner, the notion of refuge and support arrives with a quiet strength. Both have been major New York Times profiles, Saturday Night Live guests, TIME Magazine’TIME100 Next and all-genre GRAMMY "Best New Artist" nominees. A new wave of songwriter/vocalists, they seek to strip away the artifice and reveal the crux of the human condition with a strong reliance on melody, musicality and their own emotion-forward performance skills. Co-produced by Kelsea and Vanderheym in Nashville, with Kahan’s vocal produced by Gabe Simon, the track features lead electric guitar from John Osborne, of GRAMMY, Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music Award winners Brothers Osborne. With banjo, steel guitar and enough atmosphere to let the track spread out, “Cowboys Cry Too (with Noah Kahan)” provides space for real men to own and honor their emotions with the self-possession worthy of their heroic legacy.

About Kelsea Ballerini

Black River's Kelsea Ballerini consistently makes history. With the release of her debut album The First Time she became the “only female country artist to hit #1 with the first three consecutive singles from a debut album.” Since then, she's had seven #1 singles and five back-to-back Top 10 entries on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.

Among dozens of accolades, she's garnered four GRAMMY® Award nominations, won two ACM Awards, Billboard Awards, and CMA Awards; an iHeartRadio Music Awards honor, and received multiple career nominations from the ACM, American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, CMA, CMT, and People’s Choice Awards. Kelsea returned to host the 2024 CMT Music Awards for the fourth year, this time as a solo host, and lead the field in nominations. Most recently, she earned three 2024 ACM Award Nominations, including "Album of the Year” for her acclaimed Rolling Up The Welcome Mat (For Good) as both artist and producer as well as “Female Vocalist of the Year.”

The Grand Ole Opry member was named the newest face of COVERGIRL (2022) and later built on her multi-year partnership by launching a cosmetic collaboration with the brand (2023). Expanding her sphere of influence, she authored her first original poetry book, Feel Your Way Through, and Dolly Parton tapped her to star in the audiobook of Run, Rose, Run.

Kelsea's fourth album, SUBJECT TO CHANGE, was released in 2022. Five months later, she surprised fans with Rolling Up the Welcome Mat and the accompanying short film. This led to her Saturday Night Live debut, universal acclaim from critics including The New York TimesVarietyRolling Stone, and the honor of gracing the cover of TIME Magazine’s TIME100 Next issue.

With these accolades, it is no wonder NPR proclaimed, “Kelsea Ballerini is definitely one of the most influential women in country right now… she’s defining the sound of the genre.”

About Noah Kahan

GRAMMY-nominated Vermont singer & songwriter Noah Kahan has exploded from his New England roots into the global mainstream and has been touted as one of this year’s biggest and best new artists. At the core of his music are vulnerable lyrics and an unfiltered yet relatable honesty, as the critically acclaimed artist pens songs straight from the heart and cracks jokes with his signature, self-deprecating sense of humor. Across his three albums and an EP, Kahan has garnered global renown for his singular mix of Folk, Americana, and Rock, landing more than five billion streams, a Double Platinum Certification for his hit single “Stick Season,” and collaborations with Post Malone, Kacey Musgraves, Brandi Carlile, Hozier, Gregory Alan Isakov, Gracie Abrams, Sam Fender, Lizzy McAlpine, Zach Bryan, Joy Oladokun, and more. His widely adored, Platinum-Certified album, Stick Season, is inspired by his New England roots and earliest musical inspirations—from Paul Simon to Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens)—conveying a vivid representation of what he loves, fears, and struggles with most passionately. Noah embarked on his sold-out “Stick Season Tour” across North America since the album’s release, selling over half-a-million tickets and performing in the biggest venues of his career, with stadium and arena dates already sold-out for his 2024 “We’ll All Be Here Forever” world tour. In June 2023, he released an extended version of Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever), which surpassed sales of the original and features his single “Dial Drunk.” Last year, he also founded The Busyhead Project, a charitable initiative that expands access to mental healthcare and fights the stigma around mental health, which has already raised over $2 million dollars to date. In February 2024, Noah dropped the final release of the Stick Season series—Stick Season (Forever), a 30-track collection that includes his latest single “Forever” and collaborations with Brandi Carlile and Gregory Alan Isakov—further solidifying himself as one of the most successful breakout artists of the year.