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Who Is Kelsea Ballerini? All About The Voice's New Season 27 Coach

The talented country artist has previously appeared on the show and toured with Kelly Clarkson.

By Jessica White

Kelsea Ballerini's meteoric rise to fame has been spectacular: She's already had several smash albums, gotten an armful of awards, and even published a book of poetry.

How to Watch

Watch The Voice on NBC and Peacock. 

And now she's preparing to embark on a new chapter of her illustrious career: Becoming a red-seated Coach on The Voice in Season 27.

RELATED: The Voice Season 27 Coaches Have Been Revealed: See the Lineup!

Ballerini's mesmerizing approach to country music has not only charmed audiences of millions but has allowed the country songstress to carve out a country music legacy alongside the genre's most influential voices. As the country pop sensation hops into The Voice red chair, fans can look forward to the contagious energy and unparalleled expertise Ballerini is set to bring to the competition.

Kelsea Ballerini during the ACM Party For A Cause Festival at Globe Life Park

How did Kelsea Ballerini get her start in the music industry?

Ballerini moved to Nashville and began performing when she was just 15 years old. She signed a record deal with Black River Entertainment in 2013 at 19 years old and released her debut single "Love Me Like You Mean It" in 2014, kick-starting a triumphant music career that would dominate radio waves for years to come.

The Knoxville, Tennessee native explained in a 2014 CMT interview that she began writing songs at the age of 13 as an outlet to help her cope with her parent's divorce. "I found it right in that time," Ballerini revealed. "I started coping with life through that way and never stopped."

"I wrote poems and journals, but that's when it switched for me to songwriting," Ballerini said. "That's when I wanted to do everything. It was like a fire all of a sudden. I started coming to Nashville and moved here when I was 15."

RELATED: Kelly Clarkson Covered Kelsea Ballerini’s 'Peter Pan'—And Your Heart Will Break

She also credits her decision to become a musician to vocal powerhouse Kelly Clarkson because, when Ballerini was 12 years old, she attended one of Clarkson's concerts. Ballerini recalled to Country Living that, as she watched her hero work her on-stage magic, she realized, "That's what I want to do when I grow up."

After a video of Clarkson winking was displayed on the video monitors, Ballerini felt it was a sign from the "Breakaway" singer herself.

"Ever since then, I've been like, 'Kelly Clarkson told me to be an artist," Ballerini teased.

The two later performed together during the Clarkson's Meaning of Life tour and worked together on The Voice.

Kelsea Ballerini, Ayanna Joni, Lynnea Moorer, and Carson Daly appear in The Voice Season 15 Episode 14.

Was Kelsea Ballerini on The Voice before Season 27?

Ballerini was the "Fifth Coach" in Season 15 of The Voice during the competition's digital series Comeback Stage. During the series, Ballerini met up with six Artists who didn't get chair turns during Blind Auditions and, with her guidance, they competed for a spot in the Top 13 Live Shows.

RELATED: A Full Breakdown of How The Voice Works

The following season, Ballerini served as an advisor for Season 16's Team Kelly.

Ballerini then temporarily filled in for Clarkson as a Coach during Season 20 of The Voice when Clarkson was briefly ill.

Kelsea Ballerini appears in The Voice Season 15

Did Kelsea Ballerini win The Voice?

Unfortunately, none of Ballerini's six artists were crowned as winners of The Voice Season 15.

The honor instead went to Team Kelly's Chevel Shepherd.

Kelsea Ballerini's Debut Album The First Time

Ballerini's debut studio album, the platinum-certified The First Time, was lightning in a bottle, instantly skyrocketing to the top of the country charts. Ballerini's honey alto register and pop-country beats were infectious, with her lead single "Love Me Like You Mean It" cementing the country songwriter as an artist to watch. Her subsequent smash singles "Peter Pan" and "Dibs" further pushed the needle, launching Ballerini into superstardom.

"Peter Pan" reached Number 1 1 on both the Billboard Country Airplay and Hot Country Songs charts in 2016, making Ballerini the first solo female country music artist to top both country music charts simultaneously. The combo of "Dibs" and "Peter Pan" also led Ballerini to become only the fifth solo female country music artist to score back-to-back Number 1 singles in history. 

"Peter Pan" also scored Ballerini her first-ever Grammy Award nomination

Kelsea Ballerini's Sophomore Studio Album Unapologetically

Upon the immense success of her debut album, all eyes were on Ballerini for her next release, 2017's Unapologetically. Standout hits from the album included "Legends," "I Hate Love Songs," and "Miss Me More."

RELATED: Kelsea Ballerini Covered Blake Shelton's 'God Gave Me You'—And Sounded Breathtaking

“It starts with a breakup, and it goes into growing up, and then it goes into falling in love," Ballerini told Rolling Stone in November 2017. "When I was listening to my favorite demos I had when it was time to start making a record, I realized that I had talked about my life, and my life has really come in three sections in the last two and a half years. And that was loss, it was life, and then it was love. So that’s what the album ended up being.”

Kelsea Ballerini's Kelsea and Ballerini Albums

Following Unapologetically, Ballerini began working on her third studio album, dropping the lead single "homecoming queen?" in September 2019.

The March 2020 release of Ballerini's eponymous third album complicated plans for touring, but that didn't stop her from virtually connecting with her fans over the new music.

“I’m finding a lot of peace in putting some music into the world right now, especially music that talks about finding the value in ‘home’ and friends,” Ballerini told Rolling Stone following the album's release. “We need to find comfort in both of those things through this strange, uneasy time.”

In September 2020, Ballerini dropped a counterpart album to Kelsea called Ballerini, which featured stripped-down versions of the third album's tracklist.

Kelsea Ballerini's Fourth Album SUBJECT TO CHANGE

Ballerini released her fourth studio album, SUBJECT TO CHANGE, in September 2022 and its lead single, "HEARTFIRST," was an instant hit. She performed the track live for the first time while co-hosting the 2022 CMT Music Award, and the single scored Ballerini a nomination for Best Country Solo Performance at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards.

“I loved the idea of going, ‘Change is inevitable.’ And we’ve all as humankind experienced that heavily the last couple of years," Ballerini told Rolling Stone after the album drop. "So what if I make the theme of this album the idea of just blissfully accepting that tomorrow is probably going to look different than today? And instead of being terrified and looking at it like it’s this monster under the bed, what if I just live now? Sometimes that looks messy, and sometimes that looks confusing, and sometimes that looks really amazing and beautiful.”

Kelsea Ballerini's EP Rolling Up the Welcome Mat

Ballerini dropped a surprise EP in February 2023 with six new tracks and an accompanying short film film in which she starred. The album was created following her separation from her now-ex-husband Morgan Evans, she said at the time. 

“Rolling Up the Welcome Mat was how I processed everything,” Ballerini told Rolling Stone in February 2023. “It’s the way I got my feelings out of my body and heart and put them to music, which is the purest way I could’ve handled it.”  

Kelsea Ballerini's Poetry Book Feel Your Way Through

Kelsea Ballerini smiles in a black sheer top at a fashion show

Ballerini book of poems, Feel Your Way Through, was published in November 2021. Alongside her book release, Ballerini launched the Feel Your Way Through Charitable Fund to help raise money for non-profits centered around mental health.

Kelsea Ballerini recorded for Dolly Parton's audiobook

Dolly Parton on Late Night with Seth Meyers

Country titan Dolly Parton later recruited Ballerini to record her audiobook for Run, Rose, Run. The novel, co-written with James Patterson in 2022, is centered around a young singer-songwriter on the rise (and run), making Ballerini a perfect casting choice.

RELATED: Dolly Parton Is Making a Rock Album: Details

Kelsea Ballerini's Grand Ole Opry Induction

Kelsea Ballerini and Lukas Graham music group members perform during The 59th GRAMMY Awards

Every country singer dreams of one day joining the Grand Ole Opry, and Ballerini was elated to cross off the bucket list achievement in April 2019. The "Peter Pan" songstress was inducted by fellow country music legend Carrie Underwood.

With her induction, Ballerini became the Opry's youngest member in its sprawling history since its founding in 1925.

"I’ve said it a million times, but I really do feel like anyone who has a respect and a love for country music — if you’re an artist, or even as a songwriter — you want your story to land you on that stage at some point," Ballerini told Rolling Stone in May 2019. "When I first signed my record deal, that’s what I told the label: “This is on the very, very tippity-top of my goal list. I want to play on that stage.”

Kelsea Ballerini's Awards

Kelsea Ballerini on Saturday Night Live

Ballerini's roster of awards and accolades is astounding and a testament to her beloved songwriting skills and mesmerizing talent.

She already has four Grammy Award nominations and has taken home two CMA Awards, two Academy of Country Music Awards, and an iHeartRadio Music Award honor for Best New Artist.

“When these things happen, it really is a reminder for me that I’m in the right place,” Ballerini told Rolling Stone in April 2022. “When those full circles close it’s like the universe or God’s way of saying, ‘You’re on the right path. Keep going.’”

In 2017, Ballerini also landed on Forbes' 30 Under 30 in the music category, and in 2022 was named as the newest face of CoverGirl.

She made her Saturday Night Live debut in March 2023, dazzling the audience with her performances of Rolling Up the Welcome Mat's "Blindsided" and "Penthouse."

RELATED: Watch Kelsea Ballerini's Mesmerizing SNL Performances

Don't miss Ballerini on The Voice Season 27, which you'll be able to watch on NBC and Peacock.