Kelsea Ballerini says goodbye to a really special time in her life with this performance Getty Images for ACM/Kevin Winter
Getty Images for ACM/Kevin Winter

Kelsea Ballerini is saying goodbye to a pivotal period of time in her life as she prepares to perform on the 52nd annual Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday, April 2. She’ll sing “Yeah Boy,” which is on its way to becoming her fourth consecutive No. 1 country hit in the next few weeks. It’s also the fourth and final single from her debut album, “The First Time.” You can get a preview of the performance in the video above.

Kelsea tells Rare Country, “I’m so proud of ‘The First Time’ and everything that it’s done. The fact that we got to put out four singles is crazy. The whole heartbeat that I really wanted it to have was just fun and empowering and light and to make people happy and smile, and I feel like ‘Yeah Boy’ is a really fun way to kind of round that out and bring that back before we change gears a little bit — not a lot. The new stuff’s not too different.”

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Since “The First Time” came out, Kelsea has become an ACM Award-winning woman who is now engaged to Australian singer-songwriter Morgan Evans. She’s grown up quite a bit, so you won’t find her writing songs quite like “Yeah Boy” for her upcoming album.

“I feel like it’s just a little more mature,” Kelsea says of the new project. “I don’t want people to feel like, ‘Oh my gosh, she’s growing up.’ It’s not like that.”

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Kelsea also intends to have some fun, uptempo songs on the new album, but she’s going to expand on the deeper emotions she first brought out in her big hit, “Peter Pan.”

Says Kelsea, “There’s a few depressing songs [on the new album], but I mean, there has to be. It captures a breakup that I had. It captures me discovering who I am as an artist and as a young girl. A different set of insecurities than I had from the first record. Meeting Morgan. All of that. So, it’s like a whole little story that I get to share.”

Oh, and there will be love songs. After all, Kelsea is engaged to a music man. She tells us the songs written about Morgan are obvious, but you won’t find his name listed as one of her co-writers. They like to keep that part of their life separate.


Kelsea is nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year and Video of the Year for “Peter Pan” at the 52nd annual ACM Awards, which airs at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 2, on CBS.

Hunter Kelly is a senior correspondent for Rare Country. Follow him on Twitter @Hunterkelly.
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