Kelsea Ballerini has been named Radio Disney’s “NBT” (Next Big Thing) featured artist. The 22-year-old singer-songwriter that has taken country music by storm is the latest artist to be highlighted in the multi-platform feature program that, since 2010, has championed young developing recording artists, showcasing their journeys as they turn their talents and dreams into careers.
Hailing from Knoxville, Tennessee, Ballerini moved to Nashville at age 15 to chase her dream of becoming a songwriter. In 2013, she signed a publishing deal with Black River Publishing and later signed a record deal with Black River Entertainment. She launched to stardom with the release of her #1, gold-certified debut single “Love Me Like You Mean It” and current Top 15-and-rising single “Dibs.” Abuzz with shout-outs from superstars Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Little Big Town, she is the first solo female artist in nine years to hit #1, and one of only 11 women to hit the top of the charts with her debut country single. The talented singer/songwriter has credits on all 12 songs on her album, “The First Time,” which landed Top 5 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart.
Ballerini accompanied Phil Guerini, VP, Music Strategy, Disney Channels Worldwide and General Manager, Radio Disney Networks, during the announcement of Radio Disney Country during the 2015 CMA Fest, and continues to be a core artist on Radio Disney Country’s playlist.
In 2015, Ballerini kicked off the Radio Disney Music Awards at “Ardy’s Pre-Show Festival” in April, and sang alongside Taylor Swift at the Nashville stop of her 1989 World Tour in September. Racking up her first CMT, CMA and AMA award nominations this year, she recently received Billboard’s “Rising Star” award at the prestigious 2015 Women In Music event. Currently touring across the country, she previously shared the stage with Alan Jackson, Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban.
Beginning in January, Radio Disney’s “NBT” program will follow Ballerini in a series of videos as she continues to climb the charts, tours the U.S. and performs her first concert abroad in Australia. These videos will be presented nationally on Radio Disney, Disney Channel, the Radio Disney app, RadioDisney.com and social media platforms. Featured artists are introduced throughout the year. Ballerini joins an impressive roster of “NBT” alum including Hollywood Records’ Bea Miller, Island Records’ Shawn Mendes, Kemosabe/RCA Records’ Becky G, and Epic Records’ Fifth Harmony.