Kelsea Ballerini Opens up About Life Changes on Milestone 26th Birthday

Kelsea Ballerini celebrated her 26th birthday on Wednesday, Sept. 12. The singer-songwriter used the occasion to reflect on what has happened in her life so far, and what she hopes will happen in the future, both personally and professionally.

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"25 - the year I learned that even the ‘homecoming queen’ cries," Ballerini said on Instagram, referring to her new single. "I settled into my imperfections and stopped being scared to be emotional. I took ownership over my life, thoughts, feelings, and creativity and trusted myself. I started therapy. I cared more about the meal than the bloat. I picked the midnight heart to hearts and wine nights with real friends over getting proper sleep. I did more travel for fun than just for 'work.'

"I crossed some big, bold dreams off of my bucket list," she continued. "I added more. And I can’t wait to see what I cross off and learn and become through 26. Cheers from London and entering into my late 20’s. *starts actually using eye creams and learns hangovers last a full 36 hours*"

Ballerini also posted a photo of herself as a child, holding a microphone, captioning it, "25- the year I started being more like her [heart emoji]."

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Plenty of Ballerini's celebrity friends also chimed in to help her celebrate her big day.

"Happy birthday love!" Cassadee Pope wrote, while Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild wrote simply "Happy birthday!"

"Happy birthday babe!" said Lindsay Ell.

26 is starting off strong for Ballerini. She just dropped "homecoming queen?" from her upcoming new album, which is in the Top 25 on radio, and in the Top 3 on iTunes. The video drives home the message of the song, which shows Ballerini going from glam to bare, ending the video in tears.

"I’m not an actress," Ballerini told CMT. "It’s really hard for me to emote with cameras on me. It’s just not my thing. We had done that last take a couple of times, and Shane Drake the director came in. I was sitting in the chair and he knelt down with me, and said, 'Hey, we have what we need. We’re totally covered. It’s a great video. We’re gonna do one more just in case. And I know you wrote the song, and I just want to know why you wrote it.' And he walked out.


"Immediately I went back to that place where I was feeling really insecure and really vulnerable and unsure of a lot in my life," she continued. "I just checked into that girl, and wept. Hard. As soon as I was done, instead of them yelling 'cut,' it was just quiet and I walked out of the room."

Photo Credit: Getty images / Scott Legato