Kelsea Ballerini has earned herself a spot on Time Magazine’s 100 Next list recognizing the worlds brightest rising stars. And as if making the prestigious list wasn’t enough, the honor came with a tribute to her written by Country icon, Shania Twain.
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“For a girl that loves her words, this has me pretty speechless,” Kelsea write on social media, highlighting her spot on the cover. “What an incredible honor.”
Shania’s blurb for the magazine highlights not only Ballerini’s vulnerable and masterful songwriting, but also her invaluable friendship.
“As a veteran songwriter, I’m always looking for authenticity, and I’m really inspired by clever songwriting—songwriting that is not only thought-provoking and meaningful but most of all original,” Shania said, while recalling being able to recognize Kelsea’s talent the first time they met. “Kelsea writes with all those qualities.”
She continued, “She isn’t afraid to be vulnerable and really brave with her songwriting. She’s also a great friend. We have such a special relationship that is just so real, and that can be rare in our industry.”
Shania continued on to credit Kelsea’s work ethic, fun personality and above all, dedication to making a difference with her music calling out her brave performance at the CMT Awards featuring drag queen back-up dancers.
“At this year’s CMT Awards, she performed with a full troupe of drag queens as her backup dancers, which was fabulous,” Twain wrote. “She has a powerful sense of self in those moments: she knows exactly where her heart is, and she always leads with love and inclusivity.”
Being one of Time’s 100 Next isn’t the only honor bestowed recently upon Ballerini. The freshly turned 30-year-old also received two nominations at the 2023 CMA Awards with Rolling Up the Welcome Mat in the running for Album of the Year as well as Ballerini being up for Female Vocalist of the Year.
Read Twain’s full tribute for Ballerini and check out the other 99 rising stars who made Time’s 100 Next list here.