Could Kelsea Ballerini be more adorable? I think not. Besides being incredibly talented and gorgeous, she is also as down-to-earth as it gets.
She’s the real deal, as you can tell from her interview with CMT’s Next Women of Country Live, a new digital performance series featuring some of the most powerful female artists in country music today.
Unveiled Tuesday (July 12), the new shareable series kicked off the first of 20 artists with a haunting acoustic performance of Ballerini’s ballad “Peter Pan” filmed live at CMT’s Nashville studio. Each week, the network will reveal exclusive fresh performances from its roster of Next Women, a franchise that helps to raise the profile of female artists.
In Ballerini’s interview, the Knoxville, Tennessee, native shares how she was bitten by the music bug at an early age. She also reveals some of her biggest influences, including Shania Twain, Faith Hill, her pal Taylor Swift and, yes, Britney Spears.
Each week, another fierce female on the rise will be featured through exclusive performances and interviews. Cassadee Pope, Maren Morris, Clare Dunn, Cam, Kelleigh Bannen, RaeLynn, Mickey Guyton, Jana Kramer, Lauren Alaina, Maggie Rose, Brooke Eden, Lucie Silvas, Lindsay Ell, Carly Pearce, Brandy Clark, Ruthie Collins, Danielle Bradbery, Tara Thompson and Courtney Cole will all appear on future installments of Next Women of Country Live.
“Next Women grew out of a need to expose these incredibly talented ladies to the fans, and I’m so excited that we get to add yet another layer with the launch of Live,” said CMT senior vice president of music strategy and talent Leslie Fram. “Now every week, fans can experience the best female voices in our genre in a unique, new way at CMT.com.”
CMT’s Next Women of Country campaign emerged in 2013 to give more attention and airplay to emerging female artists. The franchise was a precursor to critical acclaim for a number of artists on its roster and subsequently spawned two female-fueled tours in 2015 and 2016 with Jana Kramer, Kelsea Ballerini, Jennifer Nettles, Brandy Clark, Lindsay Ell and Tara Thompson.
For more on the latest rising female stars in country music, visit NextWomen.CMT.com and follow #NextWomen on Twitter.