Kelsea Ballerini has been making big moves in the country music scene since 2016, with her debut studio album, The First Time, and the sophomore album Unapologetically, the following year. Both albums account for multiple Top 10 Hits, per Billboard, and, in 2020, the Tennessee native released two more huge projects that were also well received by fans. Her third and fourth studio albums — Kelsea and Ballerini — were released six months apart with the later featuring stripped-down versions of its predecessor.
Ballerini told Rolling Stone about the two albums, “Kelsea is glitter: bold and effervescent and dreams that are boundless. She’s who I want to be. While Ballerini is emotional, vulnerable, soft: observes her surroundings and chooses her words carefully. She’s who I am.” With that much work put into two completely separate projects, fans were shocked to notice that the “Club” singer was not included in the 2020 CMA nominations at all. Dang.
The singer candidly spoke out in September 2020 about how she felt about the huge awards snub — keep scrolling to see how she turned a negative into a somewhat silver-lining positive.
Kelsea Ballerini is motivated by the CMA snub
On Sept. 1, 2020, Billboard released the full list of nominations for the 2020 CMA Awards, and it was noticeably missing Kelsea Ballerini. The country star shared her disappointment about the situation with People two weeks following the announcement, stating, “Putting out an album and working as hard as I can, even through a pandemic, I just felt disappointed to not be a part of a community that I work really hard to stand up for and be a face of and make music that I really do hope represents the genre well.” She added, “I just felt disappointed, and that’s okay. That’ll make me make a better record next time.”
Ballerini later shared that the snub helped her refocus her priorities when it came to her music direction, explaining, “Honestly, it helped me refocus on what matters to me, and that truly is making the best music that I love and that I feel good about and making it for people that will show up for me in seats when I’m able to go back on tour.”
The 2020 ACM Awards air on Sept. 16, 2020, and the “The Other Girl” singer is nominated for Female Artist of the Year and will also perform an unreleased version of her single “bole in the bottle,” so she certainly has something to smile about despite the letdown.
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