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After a whole lot talk this season about the insufficient feminine presence on country radio, country’s newest hit female, Kelsea Ballerini, celebrated her first Number One, “Love Me Like You Mean It,” which has a party Monday brimming with awards and gratitude on Nashville’s Music Row.

More than her first Number One, the gold-certified “Love Me Like You Mean It” also marks once a solo female has held radio’s top spot since 2013 (Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away”), plus it makes Ballerini among only 11 females in the past to notch a Number One together with her debut single.

Lively, light-hearted and romantic, the song rings true to a 21-year-old’s trials of love and was co-written by Ballerini with Josh Kerr, Forrest Glen Whitehead and Lance Carpenter. But rather than appearing in a scheduled writing session, the united states newcomer says her debut’s inspiration originated an unlikely source — every night of eating pizza and paying attention to Rihanna’s “Take a Bow.”

“All of the sudden we had been so inspired from the swag and also the sass she had being an artist on that song,” Ballerini told Rolling Stone Country prior to party. “I wasn’t even signed as a possible artist yet, but there we were all determined to build a ‘sound’ for me personally together as being a group, knowning that night marked a sluggish start it.”

For their part, her co-writers all agreed Ballerini’s sound is certainly caused by of her making – and that is something many young artists aren’t ready for yet.

“The biggest thing is she knows who jane is and what she’d like to say,” said Kerr. “There will always be ideas that can about, but she knows, ‘This is just how I would say this and I have this style.’ It just is released of her naturally, that’s very unique. Not a whole lot of people are capable of doing that.”

Love Me Like You Mean It


It has also been the first Number One for every single of the co-writers, and so the party was stuffed with industry colleagues, friends and family. Held in the white-marbled lobby in the performing rights organization ASCAP’s headquarters, the party kicked off which has a speech from Senior Creative Director Mike Sistad, who recalled first meeting Ballerini when she was only 15. The time wasn’t right back then, but after giving away a round of plaques signifying her and her co-writers’ achievement, Sistad said he fully likely to be celebrating at more of these parties in the foreseeable future.

Celia Forehlig — the v . p . of publishing at Ballerini’s record label, Black River Entertainment — coaxed the initial round of tears on the singer, saying, “When your dreams become a reality, mine become a.” After sharing a heartfelt hug, Forehlig also passed out a round of plaques, asking if maybe she should hold on to them since numerous were yet into the future.

“We’ll take ’em,” Kerr shot back having an eager smile.

Other plaques, trophies and medallions then arrived through the Country Aircheck, Country Radio Broadcasters and Country Music Association organizations, last but not least it was time to hear in the writers themselves.

Carpenter began by thanking Ballerini on her hard work, using song in the market to fans and r / c and generally “busting her ass.” He was soon overcome by emotion. “Y’ll verify a big ol’ country boy cry,” the Arkansas native joked, wiping away tears. “I’ll do cart wheels later to even against each other.”

Carpenter closed that has a poignant thought on a single night of firsts: “Dreams,” he was quoted saying. “If you have got ’em, chase ’em. If you don’t, get ’em. They becoming reality.”

Kerr also found himself overcome with emotion, saying, “I wouldn’t think I could accomplish this, but Celia just knew it for reasons uknown. . . We were eating pizza and paying attention to Rihanna — not really country — now we’re here.”

And for Whitehead, special thanks and praise were to ensure Ballerini.

“She not simply blew me away to be a songwriter, however, if I got her behind a mic she made you sense what she wrote,” said the song’s co-writer/producer. “That’s essential, because pretty girls carrying guitars in this particular town are extremely common, but pretty girls carrying musical instrument that can write the hell out of an song therefore making you believe it are extremely rare.”

A huge roar filled the surrounding as the budding star took the podium, and tears started to well in the eyes before she could possibly get her first sentence out.

“This can be a room stuffed with dreamers,” said Ballerini. “And being dreamers a person looks forward a great deal. You look toward goals you set and you appear forward to a Number One, nevertheless, you don’t often look back. Last night on the very un-glamorous red-eye flight from Las Vegas, I started looking back.”

Saying she spent a whole lot of time contemplating her supporters and believers, the many demos, all of the setbacks and each of the struggle, she thanked her colleagues with humility and grace and ended that has a promise: “Right now I see a Wednesday night using a box of pizza and ‘Take a Bow’ for the radio, Forrest saying, ‘Kelsea, you’ll need a song with swag,’ and me saying ‘OK,'” she laughed. “It wasn’t meant to work, nonetheless it did. Thank you for already making looking back look so beautiful. And looking forward, I really only want to make you all proud.”

Ballerini’s second single, “Dibs,” happens to be rising inside Top 35 on Billboard’s country airplay chart. She’ll be joining Dan + Shay this are seduced by the Just the Right Kind of Crazy tour.

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