“CMT Storytellers: Kelsea Ballerini” to premiere Thursday, February 16th at 10p/9c


GRAMMY® nominee and CMT MUSIC AWARDS co-host offers intimate look into songwriting process in new CMT special

**Key Art 


NASHVILLE – (February 2, 2023) – CMT today announced GRAMMY®-nominated, multi-platinum country superstar and 2023 CMT MUSIC AWARDS co-host Kelsea Ballerini is set to headline the third installment of famed music series “CMT Storytellers,” premiering Thursday, February 16th at 10p/9c with additional airings on Sunday, February 19th at 11a/10c (CMT) Friday, February 24th at 8p/7c (CMT Music) and Saturday, February 25th at 10a/9c and 6p/5c (CMT Music). 

Featuring never-before-heard stories and new musings behind her most career-defining songs, “CMT Storytellers: Kelsea Ballerini” takes fans along on a musical journey that begins with Ballerini’s platinum-selling debut album The First Time (2015) through her latest critically-acclaimed project SUBJECT TO CHANGE (2022) and includes hits “Peter Pan,” “homecoming queen?,” “Half of My Hometown,” and “If You Go Down.” Filmed in front of an intimate studio audience outside of Nashville, Ballerini opens up about her evolution as a songwriter and artist, her writing process and navigating life and career during her rise to stardom in this special one-hour concert event. 

Ballerini shares, “Songwriting is my therapy, my haven, my best friend, and my exhale. It’s the purest part of what I do, and I am grateful to join a lineup of storytellers I’ve learned from as I tell mine.”

Kelsea Ballerini is the first female to headline “CMT Storytellers,” on the heels of announcing her return as CMT MUSIC AWARDS co-host for the third consecutive year, and is set to appear as part of the historic concert event “The Judds: Love Is Alive - The Final Concert,” premiering this spring. This Sunday, she also looks to take home her first GRAMMY® Award in the “Best Country Solo Performance” category for “HEARTFIRST.” Ballerini is set to embark on the second leg of her headlining “HEARTFIRST TOUR” this spring, in addition to joining country icon Kenny Chesney on his highly-anticipated “I Go Back Tour.”

“CMT Storytellers” gives fans a front row seat with behind-the-scenes access to their favorite artists and music. Legendary duo Brooks & Dunn kicked off the series revival this spring, followed by 3x GRAMMY® -winning singer-songwriter Darius Rucker. The “Storytellers” franchise originally aired on VH1 from 1990 to 2015 and quickly became a cultural touchstone, featuring some of the biggest names in music including Garth Brooks, The Chicks, Pearl Jam, Elton John, Ed Sheeran, Bruce Springsteen and Taylor Swift, among others. 

“CMT Storytellers” is executive produced by CMT’s Margaret Comeaux, Switched On Entertainment’s John Hamlin and Ladypants Productions’ Patrizia DiMaria. Jackie Barba and Heather D. Graffagnino serve as Executives in Charge of Production. Leslie Fram is Executive in Charge of Talent; Shanna Strassberg is Talent Producer. Lauren Quinn is Director.

About Kelsea Ballerini:
Kelsea Ballerini has consistently made history. With the release of her debut album The First Time (Black River), she became the “only female country artist to hit #1 with the first three consecutive singles from a debut album.” This history-making feat helped earn the honeyed alto a Best New Artist GRAMMY nomination. She has logged five back-to-back Top 10 entries on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, including the platinum-selling The First Time [2015], gold-selling Unapologetically [2017], gold-selling kelsea [2020], ballerini [2020], and SUBJECT TO CHANGE [2022]. With seven #1 singles and 31 certifications from the RIAA to date, her catalog boasts a string of essential smashes such as the double-platinum “Miss Me More” and “Peter Pan,” platinum-selling “half of my hometown” feat. Kenny Chesney and “hole in the bottle” with Shania Twain, and gold-selling “I Quit Drinking” with LANY. Among dozens of accolades thus far, she has garnered three GRAMMY® Award nominations, won two ACM Awards, picked up two CMA Awards, took home the iHeartRadio Music Awards honor for “Best New Artist,” and received multiple career nominations from the ACM Awards, American Music Awards, CMA Awards, CMT Awards, and People’s Choice Awards. She concluded 2021 as the “#3 most-played female artist on country radio” and CMT “Artist of the Year” in addition to picking up “Musical Event of the Year” and “Video of the Year” at the CMA Awards for “half of my hometown.” Kelsea scored a nomination in the category of “Single of the Year” at the 2022 CMA Awards for “half of my hometown,” and she notched a People’s Choice Awards nomination for “Country Artist of 2022.” Kelsea led the field for 2022 CMT Music Awards nominations with three nominations for “Video of The Year,” “Collaborative Video of The Year” and “CMT Performance of The Year.” Not to mention, she snagged a nomination for “Music Event of the Year” for the 2022 ACM Awards as both artist and producer of “half of my hometown.” This marked Kelsea’s first ACM nomination as a producer. Expanding her sphere of influence, she authored her first original book of poetry Feel Your Way Through, and Dolly Parton tapped her to star in the audiobook of Run, Rose, Run. In April 2022, Kelsea co-hosted the CMT Awards on CBS nationwide. On top of this, the multi-platinum country superstar was named the newest face of COVERGIRL. She has joined the brand in a multi-year partnership and is set to launch a cosmetic collaboration with the brand in 2023. She was inducted as a member of the famed Grand Ole Opry in 2019. At the time, she notably became the Opry’s youngest member in its nearly 100-year history since being founded in 1925.  With these accolades, it is no wonder NPR proclaimed, “Kelsea Ballerini is definitely one of the most influential women in country right now… she’s defining the sound of the genre.” Kelsea’s fourth album, SUBJECT TO CHANGE, arrived on September 23, 2022. The first single, “HEARTFIRST,” quickly took over airwaves, and was the “most added song at country radio” the week of its release. Most recently, Kelsea earned a GRAMMY® nomination for “Best Country Solo Performance” for “HEARTFIRST.” Kelsea Ballerini is ready to continue making history in 2023 and beyond.

About Paramount Media Networks & MTV Entertainment Studios:
Paramount Media Networks & MTV Entertainment Studios is one of the preeminent media entities in the world that connects with global audiences through its nine iconic brands – MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, CMT, Pop, Logo, Smithsonian, Paramount Network and TV Land – as well as MTV Entertainment Studios which produces acclaimed series and movies and the award-winning, Oscar-nominated MTV Documentary Films.

CMT Press Contacts
Ali Marszalkowski, Ali.Marszalkowski@viacomcbs.com
Rebecca Lawlor, Rebecca.Lawlor@viacomcbs.com 

Kelsea Ballerini Press Contact
Carleen Donovan, carleen@theoriel.co


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