Kelsea Ballerini hit another career milestone just one day after her 30th birthday (9/12), when she made her MTV VMA debut performance. Today, we learned is included on Time’s 2023 100 Next list.
In the Time article, where she graces the cover of the popular magazine for the first time, she talks about her new EP, Rolling Up The Welcome Mat. The project is a bunch of songs she wrote after her divorce from her husband of five years, Morgan Evans. Time also notes her many milestones in 2023, from appearing on Saturday Night Live for the first time to performing her “fun” murder song “If You Go Down (I’m Going Down Too)” alongside four drag queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Kelsea tells Time in an interview that happened in August that her EP is unlike any other body of work she’s ever made. She added that this EP was different because she had just released her album in September (Subject To Change) and was going through a massive life shift. Kelsea said she was writing the EP in her “scarce time off.” She admitted that she didn’t tell her management or record label about her work. She said that the project was very “cathartic” and that there is such “pureness” to the record that she believes that is the reason it connected with people so much.
An emotional Ballerini, who appears to be lying on the floor in her home, said, “Hey, good morning. um, CMA nominations came out this morning.” She pauses and smiles, “‘Rolling Up The Welcome Mat” is nominated for Album of the Year. It’s the little EP that keeps on giving. Oh, my little heart’s gonna explode and implode at the same time. I am also nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year at the CMAs. Good morning!”
Ballerini then posted the announcement from the CMA of Album of the Year on her Insta Stories and wrote over it, “Nah, I’ll never get over this!.”
Other nominees for CMA Album of the Year for 2023 are Lainey Wilson’s Bell Bottom Country, Ashley McBryde’s Lindeville, Luke Combs’s Gettin’ Old, and Morgan Wallen’s One Thing At A Time. The 2023 57th Annual CMA Awards will air live on ABC on November 8 at 8 PM ET.