Presented by Reese’s, the Stream Reveals Ballerini’s
Highly-anticipated Debut Album a Full Week Before Release

NASHVILLE – May 11, 2015 – CMT will exclusively premiere rising superstar Kelsea Ballerini’s highly-anticipated debut album The First Time in its entirety at Ballerini posted the announcement this morning on Twitter, surprising fans with the news that her album could be streamed a full week before it goes on sale. The Black River Entertainment singer/songwriter will release the album next week on May 18, which includes her hit debut single, “Love Me Like You Mean It,” nearing the Top 10 at #11 this week. 

Presented by Reese’s, the “CMT First” stream includes Ballerini’s breakout single “Love Me Like You Mean It,” along with never-before-heard tracks including “XO,” “Square Pegs,” “Sirens,” “Stilettos” and “Underage.” Producers Forest Glen Whitehead and Jason Massey highlight Ballerini’s adept songwriting across the 12-track project, which has received much acclaim from industry and fans, including a vote of confidence when Taylor Swift tweeted she had the EP “on repeat.”

Ballerini is co-headlining with Jana Kramer on the first-ever CMT Next Women of Country Tour, and is scheduled to perform tomorrow night (May 12) at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville. CMT world premiered Ballerini’s first video “Love Me Like You Mean It” in March, and has been a strong supporter since adding her to the CMT Next Women of Country franchise in 2014. The network will unveil new performances and interviews when Ballerini is the featured “CMT Listen Up” artist starting May 20. “CMT Listen Up” showcases rising artists through new performances and interviews on CMT Digital.

The full “CMT First” stream presented by Reese’s includes the following tracks:
1.   “XO” (Ballerini, Gravitt, O’Brien)*
2.   “Peter Pan” (Ballerini, Whitehead, Lee)
3.   “Love Me Like You Mean It” (Ballerini, Whitehead, Kerr, Carpenter)
4.   “Square Pegs” (Ballerini, Osborne, Stepakoff)*
5.   “The First Time” (Ballerini)
6.   “Lookin’ At Stars” (Ballerini, Whitehead, Stepakoff)
7.   “Sirens” (Ballerini, Whitehead, Denmark)*
8.   “Secondhand Smoke” (Ballerini, Kerr, Shellhart)
9.   “Dibs” (Ballerini, Kerr, Griffin, Duke)
10.   “Stilettos” (Ballerini, Whitehead, Savigar)*
11.   “Yeah Boy” (Ballerini, Whitehead, Timmer)
12.   “Underage” (Ballerini, Kerr, Stepakoff)*
*exclusive tracks for streaming at

Newly crowned one of CMT’s Next Women of Country, Kelsea Ballerini has been garnering enormous buzz with a recent shout-outs from Superstars Taylor Swift, Little Big Town, Kristian Bush and TODAY’s Hoda Kotb as well as landing on several 2015 “Ones to Watch” lists, including Billboard, Country Weekly, The Huffington Post, CBS Local’s, Spotify, #CMChat, Country Music Is Love and more. Kelsea’s debut single “Love Me Like You Mean It” is on the verge of Top 10 at Country Radio and released to rave reviews with Billboard praising the song as an "...Uptempo, take-charge anthem…” The sassy tune will be featured on her highly anticipated debut album, THE FIRST TIME, releasing May 18th and is digitally available for pre-order now. Producers Forest Glen Whitehead (Black River Publishing) and Jason Massey highlight Ballerini’s adept songwriting across the 12-track project. With an energetic live show and playful tunes, Kelsea is gaining the attention of other headlining acts and will be joining select dates on Lady Antebellum’s WHEELS UP Tour throughout the summer. Hailing from Knoxville, TN, Kelsea moved to Nashville, TN at age 15 to chase the dream of becoming a songwriter. At age 19, she signed a publishing deal with Black River Publishing in 2013 and later that year signed a record deal with Black River Entertainment.

CMT, a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), is the leading television and digital authority on country music and entertainment, reaching more than 92 million homes in the U.S. CMT, and CMT Radio offer an unparalleled mix of music, news, live concerts and series and are the top resource for country music on demand. The network’s digital platforms include the 24-hour music channel, CMT Pure Country, CMT App, CMT Mobile and CMT VOD.

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Amanda Murphy/CMT

Dawn Delvo/Black River Entertainment

Jensen Sussman/Sweet Talk Publicity


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