Congratulations are in order for talented spitfire Kelsea Ballerini, who just earned her first chart-topping single with her debut release, “Love Me Like You Mean It.”
Beyond the personal achievement for Kelsea, it’s a significant accomplishment in country music because the Knoxville, Tenn., native is also the first solo country female to score a Billboard No. 1 in nearly three years. The last was Carrie Underwood with “Blown Away.” And furthermore, Kelsea has also become one of only 11 female artists, including Carrie, Deana Carter, Trisha Yearwood and Faith Hill, who have had their debut single top the chart.
In a release, Kelsea said, “To be in a group with artists like Carrie Underwood, Faith Hill and Deana Carter that have had debut No. 1s and then had brilliant careers after that makes me so excited for what’s to come. Today, I just want to celebrate with my team because it’s a big victory for all of us, we’ve all worked really hard. Thank you, country radio, for making this HUGE milestone happen and making one of my biggest dreams come true.”
It has been a remarkable year for the young lady whom we named to our 2015 Ones to Watch list and CMT selected as one of their Next Women of Country. But the year isn’t over yet. Kelsea will be on the road this summer playing fairs, festivals and select dates on Lady Antebellum’s Wheels Up Tour before headlining her own club dates later this year.
Kelsea’s EP, The First Time, which includes “Love Me Like You Mean It,“ is available now.
Oh, and if you’re curious about the full list of ladies whose debut singles hit the top, here ya go!
- 2006 – Carrie Underwood, “Jesus, Take the Wheel”
- 2004 – Gretchen Wilson, “Redneck Woman”
- 2001 – Jamie O’Neal, “There Is No Arizona”
- 2001 – Cyndi Thomson, “What I Really Meant to Say”
- 1996 – Deana Carter, “Strawberry Wine”
- 1993 – Faith Hill, “Wild One”
- 1992 – Wynonna, “She Is His Only Need”
- 1990 – Trisha Yearwood, “She’s in Love With the Boy”
- 1973 – Marie Osmond, “Paper Roses”
- 1964 – Connie Smith, “Once a Day”
photo by Jeremy Ryan/Black River Ent.