Photo Credit: David McClister
Photo Credit: David McClister

Billboard, the leading global destination for charts, news, business, lifestyle and innovations in music, today announced country singer and songwriter Kelsea Ballerini as the 2015 Women in Music “Rising Star” artist. The award recognizes an artist whose chart dominance and exceptional talent demonstrates a clear path to success.

The Black River Entertainment recording artist will perform and be presented with the Rising Star award at the 2015 Billboard Women In Music awards, alongside Women of the Year Lady Gaga, Powerhouse artist Brittany Howard, Chart Topper Selena Gomez, Rulebreaker Demi Lovato and Group of the Year Fifth Harmony. Last year’s Rising Star award was given to Ariana Grande.

“At 22, Kelsea Ballerini already has a career to kill for, from a hit song to award nominations and even a stop at the famed Grand Ole Opry,” said Janice Min, co-president and chief creative officer of Guggenheim Media’s Entertainment Group, which consists of Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter. “Much like Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift before, Kelsea is a powerful songwriter and singer that has Nashville a buzz. Expertly bridging the pop-country gap, her songs have heart and it is only the beginning.”

As the exclusive broadcast partner, Lifetime will air the ceremony on December 18, bringing the iconic event to a mass audience for the first time. The program is held in conjunction with the publication of Billboard’s Women in Music list, which selects the year’s 50 most powerful female executives in the industry.

Billboard will be announcing additional Women in Music honorees.