Multiple GRAMMY nominee, Country Music Association award winner, author and songwriter/vocalist Kelsea Ballerini is slated to make her Saturday Night Live debut as musical guest on March 4th alongside host Travis Kelce.
The announcement comes on the heels of a career-defining week for Ballerini who is fresh off the surprise release of her intimate six-song EP Rolling Up the Welcome Mat (Black River) on February 14th. The EP, along with an accompanying short film written and directed by Ballerini, marks the multi-platinum star’s most intimate and honest work to date. The project became an instant hit with fans and debuted to universal acclaim from everyone from The New York Times to Variety to Rolling Stone and more.
The New York Times praised Ballerini’s newest collection writing, “With her strikingly candid new EP ‘Rolling Up the Welcome Mat,’ the country star Kelsea Ballerini joins the recent ranks of peers like Kacey Musgraves and Adele.” Rolling Stone described the EP as, “Moving and intimate,” while American Songwriter called it “A brutal, beautiful telling of how Ballerini got to where she is now.” Taste of Country noted the work as “some of the most cuttingly honest, specific and true-to-life songwriting that Ballerini has ever released” as Jezebel proclaimed “[I] love it so much that it’s all I can play.”
In addition to the widespread critical acclaim, Rolling Up the Welcome Mat hit #1 all genre on iTunes immediately upon release. The EP also landed a spot on Spotify’s coveted New Music Friday playlist in multiple international territories, and has found itself on billboards, digital playlist covers, and key playlists across Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Apple Music, Pandora and TIDAL. In addition, the 20-minute accompanying short-film, written and directed by Ballerini, made its commercial-free broadcast premiere this week on CMT.
Following a sold-out tour of the UK, this March, Kelsea Ballerini will launch the second US leg of her exclusive HEARTFIRST Tour, as her new single “IF YOU GO DOWN (I’M GOIN’ DOWN TOO)” continues to climb at Country radio. She recently announced nine new headline shows will take place across North America. The tour kicks off on March 6 at History in Toronto, ON, and will visit cities throughout the Midwest and East Coast, closing out on March 18 at Stage AE in Pittsburgh, PA. The HEARTFIRST Tour will be a prime opportunity to catch Kelsea’s full headline set—following a handful of dates on The Judds: The Final Tour and a sold-out jaunt in the UK throughout February. Meanwhile, she’ll spend the rest of the Spring on Kenny Chesney’s I Go Back Tour.