LISTEN: Kelsea Ballerini Puts Her ‘Heartfirst’ On Breezy New Single

This is the beginning of a new era for Kelsea Ballerini.


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

April 8, 2022


11:07 am

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Kelsea Ballerini; Photo Provided

Kelsea Ballerini’s new single, “Heartfirst,” has arrived, and it’s exactly the opposite of her chart-topping single, “Half Of My Hometown,” but not in a bad way. 

Days ahead of the “Heartfirst” release, Ballerini called the song a “bop” and teased that she’s bringing all the “breezy” vibes with her new tune during an interview with E! News Online before the 2022 GRAMMY Awards. 

Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Getty Images for ACM
Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Getty Images for ACM

Ballerini more than delivered on her promise as “Heartfirst” combines ‘90s country elements with a pop-country melody, making for a radio-ready hit. 

The lyrics recount an unexpected meeting that leaves Ballerini feeling head over heels. While she admits it could ultimately be a short-lived romance, she decides to dive in “Heartfirst” to see what happens.  

“Could be forever or we might break/ That’s just the/ kind of risk that we take/ My head is yelling that I could get hurt/ But I’m gonna jump right in/ Baby, with my heartfirst,” the East Tennessee native sings on the chorus. 

YouTube video

“It’s all about just following your heart (and) trusting your gut,” Ballerini explained. “I really believe that nothing great happens in life unless you take the risk and you take a leap of faith, and that’s what this whole song is about.”

Ballerini co-wrote “Heartfirst” with Karen Fairchild and Alysa Vanderheym. 

“We were all just talking about music that we’re inspired by right now, and wanting to write something upbeat, warm and free-feeling, and just being people who follow our gut and lead with our heart, and this is what we came up with,” she recalled of the day they wrote the song. 

“Heartfirst” marks the first new music from Kelsea Ballerini in 2022. She is set to debut the song during the 2022 CMT Music Awards on Monday, April 11. The award-winning singer/songwriter is also set to co-host the show alongside actor Anthony Mackie. 

The 2022 CMT Music Awards will broadcast LIVE from Nashville on Monday, April 11th (8:00-11:00 PM LIVE ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network and is available to stream live and on-demand on Paramount+*.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

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.