KNOXVILLE, TENN. (September 15, 2023)-- Kelsea Ballerini proves American literary force Thomas Wolfe wrong! Not only can you go home again, you can triumph – and create such momentum that you sell out your very first major arena headlining show in less than an hour.
For Kelsea, a vocal and songwriting creative force, it has been a year of many firsts: being a face of TIME Magazine's Next 100, a major New York Times profile, an appearance on Saturday Night Live, a performance on MTV’s Video Music Awards, three incredible sold-out legs of her HEARTFIRST tour and the intimate, soul-sorting Rolling Up The Welcome Mat with its critically-acclaimed accompanying short film. But all of it pales next to returning to Thompson-Boling Arena at Food City Center in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she went to concerts growing up, and then selling the Nov. 2nd show out less than an hour after going on sale.
Kelsea crashed Central High School’s Morning Meeting virtually earlier this week to announce the Knoxville show, sharing the monumental career news with the people sitting in the same high school where she first sang her songs onstage. Then she told them they were on the guest list for the show and, to bring someone — “your mom or your crush,” Kelsea said with a smile. As the students lost their minds, she closed with an especially meaningful, “Go Bobcats!” See the video here: http://bit.ly/KBhomecoming.
With her sixth nomination for Female Vocalist of the Year and the prestigious Album of the Year for Rolling Up The Welcome Mat, coproduced by Alysa Vanderheim, at the 2023 CMA Awards and “IF YOU GO DOWN (I'M GOIN' DOWN TOO)” hitting Country radio’s Top 15 and climbing, Kelsea is connecting with her fans like never before. Whether it's at the three fan-only events at Los Angeles’ GRAMMY Museum, Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame, and New York City’s exclusive Whitby Theater or on stage performing her fan-favorite "Penthouse (Healed Version)," she has always kept the focus on young women looking for a voice that shares their perspective.
Still, there’s nothing like going home – and knowing those songs mean the most where you’re from. Having snagged multiple CMA and Academy of Country Music awards with “half of my hometown,” her duet with fellow East Tennessean Kenny Chesney, few artists embody the sense of boldness it takes to leave your hometown behind to chase a crazy, impossible dream the way Kelsea does.
And on Nov. 2, the emerging powerhouse will share everything wonderful that’s happened with the people who gave her the roots that allowed her to fly. In a world where most people aren’t a prophet in their hometown, Kelsea lives the dream for everybody.