She has had a series of No. 1 singles –- five to be exact –– and sold out her own tour, but Kelsea Ballerini is the first to admit she still doesn't have it all together. The 26-year-old is sharing all of that, including her own insecurities and fears, on her upcoming new album, Kelsea, out on Friday, March 20.
"Part of it is I don't know where I fit in the celebrity culture because [I think] I'm a D-list country singer and I find myself in a room with A-list people and I don't know how to navigate it or how to talk to them," Ballerini confessed to PEOPLE. "It makes me go in my head."
Ballerini might be insecure, but she is also brave. The Tennessee native intentionally chose not to play it safe for her next set of tunes, even though she acknowledges it might have been a bit of a gamble.
"There are a lot of pop and country elements on this record," Ballerini said of the album that includes her current single, "homecoming queen?" and the vulnerable "la." "It made me scared; I was like, 'If there's as many beat drops as there are banjos on this album, are people going to think that I'm not a country artist anymore? Are they going to lose respect for me in this journey that I've built in Nashville?'
"But I never will jump ship," she continued. "I am rooted and I've built my foundation [in country], but I'm allowed as an artist and a musician to explore and create."
Ballerini is eager to share her new music with her fans, even if she had to cancel most of her plans for release week due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"So friends, my album still comes out Friday, which I am so excited about, more than I can even say," Ballerini said in a video shared on social media. "However, this week is going to look a lot different than we had planned for and hoped for and dreamed up. I really wanted there to be so many moments and opportunities for me, face to face, to play these songs for you for the first time, and hug as many of you as possible. But, what I care about more than that is everyone staying safe and staying healthy, so a lot of our plans have changed. The silver lining is, I feel and really believe that music can bring a lot of peace when things feel really unsettled, and it can make you feel calm when life feels chaotic.
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"I love this album, and I hope that there is something on it that makes you feel those things," she continued. "I really promise that when everything that's happening right now passes and calms down, we will bring all of our plans back to life. It's just not in the timeline that we had pictured. But I love you guys, and I can't wait to hear what you think about this album. Please stay safe, and I'll be around on the social medias, so just holler. You have a friend. Album comes out Friday. Stay safe, guys."0comments
Order Kelsea by visiting Ballerini's website.
Photo Credit: Getty / Robby Klein