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Rare Country Awards nominee Kelsea Ballerini has earned millions of fans thanks to her honest songs written about her life experiences. She sticks with that winning approach even more so on her new album, “Unapologetically.” In fact, Kelsea wants her fans to think of her as a peer rather than an untouchable country star when they listen to the album.




“I’ve realized that we’re the same person. Like, really,” she tells Rare Country.

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Kelsea goes on to recall a moment with a fan that really solidified the way she relates to the folks who buy her albums and come see her in concert.

She says, “Her name’s Ashley. I crashed her birthday party, and I went in and ordered them pizza and hung out with them for a bit. I was like, ‘I just want to stay and hang out because you’re talking about your boyfriend, and I want to relate with you.’ It was just so fun, and it felt like I was hanging out with my friends.”

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In that moment, Kelsea decided she would share the good and the bad moments of her life in her new music.

She adds, “I just really realized that I needed to be open and honest and not sugarcoat the truth, but just tell the truth on this record, whether it was really great or really not. Because that’s exactly what they’re feeling and growing through, ’cause it’s the same.”

Kelsea’s honest songwriting is a big reason she’s nominated for Female Artist of the Year at this year’s Rare Country Awards. Voting is open through Dec. 13 at RareCountryAwards.com. The winners will be revealed during a concert event livestreamed from Nashville on Dec. 14.

Hunter Kelly is a senior correspondent for Rare Country. Follow him on Twitter @Hunterkelly.
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