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Find out how this Grammy golden girl is closing out 2016 with a bang Getty Images/Rick Diamond
Getty Images/Rick Diamond

The Rare Country Awards honor the year’s best in country music as determined by fans. Cast your vote at RareCountryAwards.comWinners to be announced Dec. 15.


It’s a truly sweet time for Kelsea Ballerini.

On the heels of three back-to-back No. 1 hits, Kelsea just found out she is up for best new artist at the Grammy Awards. We caught up with country’s “It Girl” just hours after the nominees were announced early on the morning of Dec. 6.

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Kelsea tells us, “I woke up to my phone just dinging. I feel like I could not do anything to get this many text messages form my friends ever.”

Those famous friends congratulating Kelsea on her Grammy news include Taylor Swift and Kelly Clarkson, who sent a message via Twitter.

RELATED: Kelsea Ballerini conquered 2016 with a mix of sweetness and determination

Fellow best new artist nominee Maren Morris also texted Kelsea a big congrats, too.

Of course, Rare Country has been on Team Kelsea for a while now. She’s up for new artist of the year at the inaugural Rare Country Awards thanks in large part to The First Time Tour. Kelsea has been wowing audiences coast to coast with her first-ever headlining show, which she says is “just so fun.”

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“I was a little nervous to put together a 75-minute show because I’ve been opening for so long,” Kelsea tells us, “But just to see 1,200 to 2,500 people come out and know every word to every song that I’ve written that’s released and unreleased is so cool. Just to be able to sit there and talk to them and thank them in person is a big deal. I can’t wait to do it again. It’s almost over, and I’m really sad about it.”

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Kelsea is excited to be hitting the road with Thomas Rhett on his Home Team Tour, launching February 2017.

If you’re a big Kelsea fan, show her some love by casting your vote for her in the new artist of the year category at the Rare Country Awards. You can vote now at RareCountryAwards.com. Winners will be announced Dec. 15.

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