Kelsea Ballerini Promises To Never Abandon Her Country Music Roots

“I never will jump ship,” she vows.


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

March 19, 2020


3:14 pm

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Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for dick clark productions

Kelsea Ballerini was initially a bit worried about how her new album would be received by fans. That’s because the 13-track album features elements of pop and country and she was afraid fans would think she had abandoned her roots.

While she enjoys experimenting with different sounds, the superstar says she has no plans to leave the country music genre. She wants her fans to know that.

“There are a lot of pop and country elements on this record. It made me scared; I was like, ‘If there’s as many beat drops as there are banjos on this album, are people going to think that I’m not a country artist anymore? Are they going to lose respect for me in this journey that I’ve built in Nashville?’” she admitted to PEOPLE. “But I never will jump ship. I am rooted and I’ve built my foundation [in country], but I’m allowed as an artist and a musician to explore and create.”

Following her gut, Ballerini made the record the way she wanted to make it. She let the songs dictate the sound of the album and admits it does push some boundaries.

“With this album, instead of keeping that streamlined sound, I really wanted to let the songs determine the production,” she explained to Entertainment Weekly. “You hear a lot more organic, real rooted country sounds on this album [and] you also hear a lot more boundary pushing, which is exciting for me. I had so much fun making those artistic decisions in the studio to, you know, put a banjo there, put a beat drop there, and let the song determine that.”

Out Friday, kelsea features Ballerini’s current single, “Homecoming Queen?” as well as collaborations with Halsey and Kenny Chesney. The singer/songwriter plans to go live on Instagram Thursday evening at 9 pm CST to introduce the album to fans.

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.