Kelsea Ballerini Shares “News” at 1st Fan Forward Event

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. (Aug. 2, 2023) - Kelsea Ballerini, the songwriter/performer/producer/director/supernova rising, is having quite the year! Beyond three sold-out legs of her own headlining tour and being sole and direct support to Kenny Chesney, she has released a mainstream country album including "IF YOU GO DOWN (I'M GOIN' DOWN TOO)," her Top 20 and rising single, released a deeply personal and critically acclaimed in-the-moment Rolling Up The Welcome Mat, performed on Saturday Night Live, was profiled in The New York Times and lived life at the supersonic speed of Kelsea. And she's taken her fans along for every triumph, bump and laugh along the way.

Looking at where she was last year and where she's heading, the triple-GRAMMY nominee knew the only way to close the door on Welcome Mat was to write the final chapter and resolve the reality of a marriage dissolving with the solidity of moving on. Rather than a talk show or a podcast, the East Tennessee creator expanded Welcome Mat, updated a few songs, added a new one -- and announced it all at her first intimate fan gathering at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles.

"Having shared everything with my fans, I knew I wanted to tell them first – and wanted to tell them," says the painfully honest writer. "I wanted to be in an intimate space, with them, walking through everything that happened, explaining some of the artistic decisions and letting them know how much their reaction to this music has meant to me."

Ballerini's first intimate evening was built around a conversation with noted director Julie Anne Robinson, known for "Bridgerton," but also "Orange Is the New Black," "Nurse Jackie," "Masters of Sex," "The Good Place," "Parks & Recreation" and the feature films "One for the Money" and "The Last Song." The British-born, UK- and American-based filmmaker was on-hand to do a deep dive into the writing, process and reckoning that drove "Rolling Up The Welcome Mat (A Short Film)."

As a double BAFTA and Golden Globe nominee, Robinson created a conversation that offered a strong sense of how life translates into art, the risks and rewards of exposing one's most faltering and vulnerable moments and the power of creativity to move the healing process along. It was a brisk talk, that also included questions from the audience and Ballerini's announcement of Rolling Up The Welcome Mat (For Good).

"I wasn't worried about anything other than presenting the songs as honestly as possible," the multi-platinum country songstress explained upon release. "Most started with me and my guitar."

Though originally written and recorded with long-time collaborator Alysa Vanderheym, Ballerini created a place of (self)compassion for everyone. In that spirit, she didn't want to leave the story in a place where so much was at stake and so little resolved. Beyond announcing the August 11 release of Rolling Up The Welcome Mat (For Good), designed to put this conversation to bed forever, the Black River artist treated the audience to the new "full" version of "Interlude'' and performed "Penthouse (Healed Version)" for the full house.

To mark the occasion, Ballerini created very special, limited-edition t-shirts that are available in each market that reveal a new lyric from "Interlude." As she says of the singular surprise, "Some people wear their hearts on their sleeve, this is a way to wear something that says you grew and came even more into your own on your chest. It's a wonderful way to tell your truth without saying a word."


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 [2015], gold-selling Unapologetically [2017], gold-selling kelsea [2020], ballerini [2020], and SUBJECT TO CHANGE [2022]. 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 TimesVarietyRolling 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.