Fans of Black River Entertainment’s KELSEA BALLERINI came out in full force to see the bona fide trailblazer during CMA Fest 2018. She was also able to sneak in a few surprises along the way.
Returning as CMA Fest co-host alongside Thomas Rhett for the second year in a row, Ballerini introduced some of Country’s biggest acts playing Nashville’s Nissan Stadium while her brand new music video for current chart-climbing single “I Hate Love Songs” (penned by Ballerini, Shane McAnally, and Trevor Rosen) made its debut on the stadium’s big screens on Friday (6/8).
Earlier that day, she surprised her fan club as she had sets from her lovestruck music video, directed by Traci Goudie, reconstructed in the heart of Music City inside Bridgestone Arena. With popcorn popping, there was a special showing of the full-length music video with Ballerini, before she revealed such spots as the “Legends Diner” and the bubblegum pink wall covered with an explosion of streamers, balloons, and flowers. Guests were invited to walk through the sets plus snag a photo with Ballerini, before receiving a box of Russell Stover-brand chocolates as a souvenir. She also made the day super special for one fan, as she had asked to sing “Graveyard” with the Country star during the Q&A, which Ballerini made happen during her mini concert.
Watch the playful “I Hate Love Songs” music video here.
Bringing “I Hate Love Songs” to the stadium stage on Saturday (6/9), Ballerini performed fan-favorites from her acclaimed sophomore album UNAPOLOGETICALLY, including the title track and history-making GOLD-certified, #1 “Legends,” as well as some of her breakout PLATINUM-certified, #1 smashes like a stripped-down rendition of “Love Me Like You Mean It” and “Peter Pan.”
“Thank you for continuing to make all my dreams come true,” she shared from the stage. Earlier in her set, she pointed out the nosebleed seats she once sat as a teenager and recalled dreaming about being on a stage of such a magnitude someday.
Wrapping a crammed week of exciting back-to-back events, Ballerini topped off CMA Fest as the Artist of the Day live from the CMA Close Up Stage on Sunday (6/10). Sharing the intimate loss, life, and love stories behind penning UNAPOLOGETICALLY and revealing what she has coming up next, fans lined Xfinity Fan Fair X for her anticipated session and performance hosted by CMT’s Leslie Fram, Senior Vice President of Music Strategy.
Viewers can relive CMA Fest when the three-hour special hits ABC later this summer on August 8 at 8/7c. In addition, Ballerini is up for three categories at the 2018 Radio Disney Music Awards: The Bestest – Radio Disney Country Favorite Artist, Play It Again! – Radio Disney Country Favorite Song (“Legends”), and all-genre XOXO – Best Crush Song (“Legends”), airing on the Disney Channel, as well as additional Disney-branded platforms, on June 23.
Back on the road on Friday (6/15), she heads out as Keith Urban’s special guest on the GRAFFITI U WORLD TOUR beginning at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis, MO, and running through November 3 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX.
ABOUT KELSEA BALLERINI: Applauded as GRAMMY nominee Kelsea Ballerini’s “grown-up statement” (Rolling Stone), the Black River Entertainment artist’s acclaimed sophomore album UNAPOLOGETICALLY takes listeners on an intimate journey of loss, life, and love. The 12-track compilation – all written or co-written by Ballerini – features the GOLD-certified, #1 hit “Legends” and current chart-rising single “I Hate Love Songs.” This summer, she’ll be Keith Urban’s featured artist on the GRAFFITI U WORLD TOUR, after wrapping her own sold-out headlining THE UNAPOLOGETICALLY TOUR. The record-breaker skyrocketed to stardom after releasing PLATINUM-certified, #1 smashes – “Love Me Like You Mean It,” “Dibs,” “Peter Pan” – from her GOLD-certified breakout THE FIRST TIME. Ballerini is the only female artist in Country music history, including female duos and groups, to go #1 with her first three consecutive singles from a debut album. As spotted on “Best Dressed” lists, the style maven appeared in a multi-page fashion spread in Cosmopolitan’s March 2018 issue, with several other high profile looks in 2017: Billboard Magazine’s GRAMMY preview issue; Forbes’ “30 Under 30” class; and People Magazine’s “Beauty at Every Age” list in their iconic World’s Most Beautiful issue. Praised by The New York Times as an “elegant songwriter,” Ballerini has received the esteemed ASCAP Vanguard Award, CMT Next Women of Country’s Impact Award, Nashville Business Journal’s Artist of the Year, ACM Honor’s Gene Weed Milestone Award, iHeartRadio Music Award for Best New Country Artist, Billboard Women in Music’s Rising Star, multiple Radio Disney Music Awards plus several breakthrough female awards from ACM and CMT.
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