NEW YORK CITY (August 11, 2023) -- Triple GRAMMY® nominee Kelsea Ballerini knows when enough is enough. Having put her creativity forward during a moment of great vulnerability with her stripped-back Rolling Up The Welcome Mat, a project which became a fan favorite that took on a life of its own, she recognized the importance of finishing the story.
Rolling Up The Welcome Mat (For Good) – which arrives today – marks the end of grieving what was and stepping into the glorious possibilities. Ultimately, designed to put this conversation to bed forever, she and longtime collaborator Alysa Vanderheym expanded their original recording with what became the complete “Interlude (Full Length),” a live version of “Penthouse (Healed Version)” that captured the energy transfer of her concerts, an updated “Blindsided (Yeah, Sure, Okay)” that included the lyrics added during her Saturday Night Live performance and the brand-new, back into the fray “How Do I Do This.”
“Even when we were recording Rolling Up The Welcome Mat, I knew it wasn’t the end of the story,” Kelsea offered. “We couldn’t know what was to come, so Alysa and I left the project exactly as it was when it was written and recorded... and because of the open dialogue I have with my fans, it only felt right to finish this story before starting on the next chapter of my life.”
Reflecting on that intensely personal relationship, Kelsea decided to host small screenings of her self-written and directed short film that accompanied the project and preview some of Rolling Up The Welcome Mat (For Good) for her fans. Beyond special live performances, the East Tennessee songwriter also engaged in conversations with significant hosts at LA’s GRAMMY Museum and Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
For New York, Kelsea hosted the event at the Whitby Theater, the private screening room at the Whitby Hotel. She performed “Blindsided (Yeah, Sure, Okay)” and “How Do I Do This” flanked by two acoustic guitarists, receiving a standing ovation after the latter. Equally compelling was her conversation with The New York Times’ culture reporter Melena Ryzik, who’s written about Maggie Rogers, Margo Price, Jenny Lewis, director Wes Anderson’s secret weapon and various cultural moments and movements.
“I was so glad Melena agreed to do this with me,” Kelsea explained. “She interviewed me during our Saturday Night Live trip for a profile and was in many ways a part of the beginning of this moment. She asked me a lot of questions as I was sorting through the emotions and the songs, focusing me even deeper on the process, so she was the perfect person to finish the conversation at this final event.”
With an appearance at Rockefeller Plaza for NBC’s Citi Concert Series on TODAY to mark the actual release of her much-anticipated project, Kelsea is making the most of the moment – and bringing her fans along for the ride. Currently climbing the Top 20, the Black River artist performed her radio single “IF YOU GO DOWN (IM GOIN' DOWN TOO)" alongside “Penthouse (Healed Version)” and “Blindsided (Yeah, Sure, Okay)” to complete the song cycle’s cycle.
“We were all amazed at the response to this project that I mostly made for myself. I am so proud to be able to give people something so personal that resonated so deeply with them. It wasn’t happy, up-tempo positive – and it didn’t matter," said Kelsea, who was recently surprised during an exclusive interview on SiriusXM's The Highway with Macie Banks in Nashville. Banks presented Kelsea with Pandora's Billionaires Plaque, signifying over One Billion streams on the platform. Further reflecting on the response of Rolling Up The Welcome Mat, Kelsea added, "As a songwriter, a singer, a producer, that’s thrilling. And now, on from here!”
Kelsea pictured with The New York Times’ culture reporter Melena Ryzik discussing her critically-acclaimed short film, Rolling Up The Welcome Mat, at her final sold-out 8/10 Under The Welcome Mat fan event in New York City at the Whitby Theater.
Photo Credit: Catherine Powell
About Kelsea Ballerini
Kelsea Ballerini has consistently made history. With the release of her debut album The First Time (Black River), she became the "only female country artist to hit #1 with the first three consecutive singles from a debut album." This history-making feat helped earn the honeyed alto a Best New Artist GRAMMY nomination. She has logged five back-to-back Top 10 entries on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, including the platinum-selling The First Time , gold-selling Unapologetically , gold-selling kelsea , ballerini , and SUBJECT TO CHANGE . With seven #1 singles and 31 certifications from the RIAA to date, her catalog boasts a string of essential smashes such as the double-platinum "Miss Me More" and "Peter Pan," platinum-selling "half of my hometown" feat. Kenny Chesney and "hole in the bottle" with Shania Twain, and gold-selling "I Quit Drinking" with LANY. Among dozens of accolades thus far, she has garnered three GRAMMY® Award nominations, won two ACM Awards, picked up two CMA Awards, took home the iHeartRadio Music Awards honor for "Best New Artist," and received multiple career nominations from the ACM Awards, American Music Awards, CMA Awards, CMT Awards, and People's Choice Awards. Most recently, Kelsea earned a nomination for "Female Artist of the Year" for the 2023 ACM Awards and the video for her hit single "HEARTFIRST" received a nomination for "Visual Media Of The Year." She concluded 2021 as the "#3 most-played female artist on country radio" and CMT "Artist of the Year" in addition to picking up "Musical Event of the Year" and "Video of the Year" at the CMA Awards for "half of my hometown." Kelsea scored a nomination in the category of "Single of the Year" at the 2022 CMA Awards for "half of my hometown," and she notched a People's Choice Awards nomination for "Country Artist of 2022." Kelsea led the field for 2022 CMT Music Awards nominations with three nominations for "Video of The Year," "Collaborative Video of The Year" and "CMT Performance of The Year." Not to mention, she snagged a nomination for "Music Event of the Year" for the 2022 ACM Awards as both artist and producer of "half of my hometown." This marked Kelsea's first ACM nomination as a producer. Expanding her sphere of influence, she authored her first original book of poetry Feel Your Way Through, and Dolly Parton tapped her to star in the audiobook of Run, Rose, Run. In April 2022, Kelsea co-hosted the CMT Awards on CBS nationwide. On top of this, the multi-platinum country superstar was named the newest face of COVERGIRL. She has joined the brand in a multi-year partnership and is set to launch a cosmetic collaboration with the brand in 2023. She was inducted as a member of the famed Grand Ole Opry in 2019. At the time, she notably became the Opry's youngest member in its nearly 100-year history since being founded in 1925. 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." Kelsea's fourth album, SUBJECT TO CHANGE, arrived on September 23, 2022. The first single "HEARTFIRST," quickly took over airwaves as the "most added song at country radio" the week of its release and was recently certified gold by the RIAA. Most recently, Kelsea earned a GRAMMY® nomination for "Best Country Solo Performance" for "HEARTFIRST." Kelsea surprised fans with the release of her intimate six-song Rolling Up the Welcome Mat (Black River) on February 14, 2023. Welcome Mat, along with an accompanying short film written and directed by Ballerini, marks the multi-platinum star's most intimate and honest work to date. The project became an instant hit with fans and debuted to universal acclaim from critics including The New York Times, Variety, Rolling Stone and more. On the heels of Welcome Mat's success, Kelsea made her Saturday Night Live debut on March 4, 2023. She recently wrapped a stint as special guest on Kenny Chesney's I Go Back 2023 Tour as well as the sold-out third leg of her exclusive headlining HEARTFIRST Tour. Kelsea Ballerini is ready to continue making history in 2023 and beyond.