It feels to me like contry artist Kelsea Ballerini is on the verge of crossover stardom. I don’t think the 26-year-old Tennessee singer-songwriter is destined to reach the heights of her friend and supporter Taylor Swift, but maybe she’ll be another Maren Morris or Kacey Musgraves.
Ballerini released her third album, kelsea, on March 20. It fits firmly in the country-pop lane that Swift perfected on her first few albums, with a couple of tracks that lean a little more Top 40.
I’ve never heard of Kelsea Ballerini, but apparently that puts me in the minority. The 23-year-old Tennessean sent her first three singles to the top of the country charts, a first for a solo female country act in nearly a quarter century.
Ballerini seems to be filling a void in the country landscape left behind when Taylor Swift made the leap to full-on pop star. And that’s appropriate, because Swift has been a major backer, calling her “little sis” and promoting her heavily on social media.