The 22-year-old shares the personal stories that paved her road to success. Some people say that it’s not the things that happen in life that define us; it’s the way we react to them. And 22-year-old singer/songwriter Kelsea Ballerini embodies this notion.
At just 13, Kelsea’s world was shattered when her parents told her they were divorcing. “I was sad and broken and I just remember I went upstairs and wrote my first song called ‘Bring on the Rain,’” she shares. “Before that, I was in pieces, and after I wrote it, I was so fine.”
It wasn’t long before Kelsea’s songwriting got the attention of record labels in Nashville. She was so excited at the chance of sharing her music with the world and walked into the first big meeting, grinning ear to ear with her sparkly pink guitar in hand. “I sat down and he looked at me and said, ‘There’s already a Taylor Swift. What are you doing?’ I walked out and was like I don’t want to go to the second meeting. I want to go home.”
But after the initial disappointment wore off, Kelsea worked harder than ever, writing and performing for anyone who would listen. Eventually, she landed a deal with Black River Entertainment. In July, her debut single, “Love Me Like You Mean It,” hit number one on the country charts, and Kelsea became the first female artist to do this in a decade.
And just last week, her second single, “Dibs” landed the number one slot, making Kelsea the first female artist in 15 years to score back-to-back #1 singles. “I remember having girls’ nights when I was 12 and 13, playing songs on the guitar and talking about one day having a song on the radio,” says Kelsea. “All I ever intended was to make good music, to have a voice and have that voice be heard. I am so grateful.”
The fact that Kelsea is making history and winning awards is amazing, but the story of how she got there, overcoming obstacles and turning heartbreak into hit songs, makes her success that much sweeter.
Kelsea is touring non-stop through September! Head over to kelseaballerini.com/events & see when she’s coming to your city.