Kelsea Ballerini w Noah Kahan = Ballerini's Best Streaming Debut EVER

(Nashville): Multiple GRAMMY nominee Kelsea Ballerini knew there was something special about the chemistry she and GRAMMY "Best New Artist" nominee Noah Kahan shared when they performed at the 2024 Academy of Country Music Awards. Struck by his raw vulnerability, she wanted to find something they could do together; she and Kahan co-write “Cowboys Cry Too (with Noah Kahan)” to harness that unfettered honest and porous emotionality.

If music fans across all genres were captivated watching them on the ACM Awards, lightning more than struck twice. Debuting at No. 27 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart and No. 33 on the Mediabase Country chart; “Cowboys Cry Too (with Noah Kahan)” delivered 89 total adds in its first week, more than half the panel, to be the coveted Most Added record. Even more impressively, Ballerini with Kahan saw over 12 million streams in a single week, more than double her best opening week.

"The response so far has made me feel a mix of massive appreciation and a genuine exhale,” says the woman who writes and co-produces her records with Alysa Vanderheym. “I think a lot of people wish they could drop their armor, admit when they’re hurt or they’re scared, and just not feel like a failure for owning their humanness at its core. From starting the song last year on my back porch, to Noah joining in and bringing his verse and voice to it, it just feels like a musical statement I’ll always be proud of for the rest of my career."

The impossibly honest, absolutely country song has struck a nerve with some of the nation’s most revered publications. The New York Times picked it as one of the week’s all-genre best, writing, “With string-band fiddle and mandolin set amid an arena-country march, Ballerini and Kahan praise vulnerability as a different form of toughness, one that’s not encouraged by family or culture,” while People offered, “the artists bare it all, talking emotional suppression and stoic fathers, noting it’s OK to pour one out from time to time – ‘cause cowboys cry too’,” and American Songwriter praised the “beautifully crafted country song that hits all the right notes, from the fiddle to acoustic guitar.” Citing the power of the duet, AS continued, “While this song could have worked with just Ballerini, Kahan’s verses punch it up and give it a new point of view. This expands the song beyond a single mindset, making it universally understood.”

As Kahan said of the pairing, “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 Kahan’s vocal produced by Gabe Simon, Billboard notes that in spite of earlier collabs with Zach Bryan and Kacey Musgraves, the record, which features John Osborne on lead guitar, “sounds aimed straight at the heart of country radio… (Kahan) has never sounded as comfortable picking up the cowboy hat as he does here.”

Both artists have built careers that have yielded TIME Magazine’TIME100 Next and Saturday Night Live appearances, as well as all-genre GRAMMY "Best New Artist" nominations by following music instead of formats. With “Cowboys Cry Too,” Ballerini and Kahan deliver on their strengths for a song that will create a space for people to find shelter from the storm.

About Kelsea Ballerini

Kelsea Ballerini has consistently made 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. This history-making feat earned her a “Best New Artist” GRAMMY nomination. The Black River artist 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 32 certifications from the RIAA to date, her catalog boasts a string of essential smashes. 

Among dozens of accolades thus far, Ballerini has garnered four GRAMMY 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 AwardsAmerican Music AwardsCMA AwardsCMT Awards and People’s Choice Awards. Ballerini was also 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.  

Expanding her sphere of influence, Ballerini authored her first original book of poetry, Feel Your Way Through (2021), and Dolly Parton tapped her to star in the audiobook of Run, Rose, Run (2022). This same year, the multi-platinum country superstar was named the newest face of CoverGirl. She entered into a multi-year partnership and launched a cosmetic collaboration with the brand in 2023. 

Ballerini’s fourth album, SUBJECT TO CHANGE, arrived in 2022. The gold-certified first single, “HEARTFIRST,” earned her a GRAMMY nomination for “Best Country Solo Performance.” She went on to surprise fans five months later with the release of the intimate six-song Rolling Up the Welcome Mat, which earned her a GRAMMY nomination for “Best Country Album.” Rolling Up the Welcome Mat, along with an accompanying short film written and directed by Ballerini, marked the multi-platinum star’s most honest work to date and led to her Saturday Night Live debut, universal acclaim from critics including The New York TimesVarietyRolling Stone, as well as the honor of gracing the cover of TIME Magazine.

Most recently, Kelsea Ballerini enlisted "Best New Artist" GRAMMY nominee Noah Kahan to appear on her tender and beautifully crafted new single “Cowboys Cry Too,” following the pair’s incandescent performance on the 2024 Academy of Country Music Awards. In addition to this, Ballerini announced she is set to serve as Coach on Season 27 of NBC’s The Voice, premiering in Spring 2025. 

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.