Kelsea Ballerini Invites Final Fan Forward Moment

NEW YORK CITY-- Triple GRAMMY® nominee Kelsea Ballerini knows when enough is enough. Having put her creativity forward during a moment of great vulnerability with her stripped-back Rolling Up The Welcome Mat, a project which became a fan favorite that took on a life of its own, she recognized the importance of finishing the story.

Rolling Up The Welcome Mat (For Good) – which arrives today – marks the end of grieving what was and stepping into the glorious possibilities. Ultimately, designed to put this conversation to bed forever, she and longtime collaborator Alysa Vanderheym expanded their original recording with what became the complete “Interlude (Full Length),” a live version of “Penthouse (Healed Version)” that captured the energy transfer of her concerts, an updated “Blindsided (Yeah, Sure, Okay)” that included the lyrics added during her Saturday Night Live performance and the brand-new, back into the fray “How Do I Do This.

“Even when we were recording Rolling Up The Welcome Mat, I knew it wasn’t the end of the story,” Kelsea offered. “We couldn’t know what was to come, so Alysa and I left the project exactly as it was when it was written and recorded... and because of the open dialogue I have with my fans, it only felt right to finish this story before starting on the next chapter of my life.”

Reflecting on that intensely personal relationship, Kelsea decided to host small screenings of her self-written and directed short film that accompanied the project and preview some of Rolling Up The Welcome Mat (For Good) for her fans. Beyond special live performances, the East Tennessee songwriter also engaged in conversations with significant hosts at LA’s GRAMMY Museum and Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

For New York, Kelsea hosted the event at the Whitby Theater, the private screening room at the Whitby Hotel. She performed “Blindsided (Yeah, Sure, Okay)” and “How Do I Do This” flanked by two acoustic guitarists, receiving a standing ovation after the latter. Equally compelling was her conversation with The New York Times’culture reporter Melena Ryzik, who’s written about Maggie Rogers, Margo Price, Jenny Lewis, director Wes Anderson’s secret weapon and various cultural moments and movements.

“I was so glad Melena agreed to do this with me,” Kelsea explained. “She interviewed me during our Saturday Night Live trip for a profile and was in many ways a part of the beginning of this moment. She asked me a lot of questions as I was sorting through the emotions and the songs, focusing me even deeper on the process, so she was the perfect person to finish the conversation at this final event.”

With an appearance at Rockefeller Plaza for NBC’s Citi Concert Series on TODAY to mark the actual release of her much-anticipated project, Kelsea is making the most of the moment – and bringing her fans along for the ride. Currently climbing the Top 20, the Black River artist performed her radio single “IF YOU GO DOWN (IM GOIN' DOWN TOO)" alongside “Penthouse (Healed Version)” and “Blindsided (Yeah, Sure, Okay)” to complete the song cycle’s cycle.

“We were all amazed at the response to this project that I mostly made for myself. I am so proud to be able to give people something so personal that resonated so deeply with them. It wasn’t happy, up-tempo positive – and it didn’t matter," said Kelsea, who was recently surprised during an exclusive interview on SiriusXM's The Highway with Macie Banks in Nashville. Banks presented Kelsea with Pandora's Billionaires Plaque, signifying over One Billion streams on the platform. Further reflecting on the response of Rolling Up The Welcome Mat, Kelsea added, "As a songwriter, a singer, a producer, that’s thrilling. And now, on from here!”