Kelsea Ballerini performs during the Military Appreciation Ceremony
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12 Kelsea Ballerini Songs That Prove Her Pop-Country Power


Similar to her predecessor Taylor Swift, Kelsea Ballerini was just a teenager when she moved to Nashville with big dreams of becoming a country artist. She was in high school when she left her hometown of Knoxville for Music City but it paid off big time because Ballerini became the first female artist who's debut single made it to the top of the Billboard charts since Carrie Underwood in 2006...a pretty impressive debut to the country music world.

Throughout her short but impressive career, Ballerini has landed multiple number one hits across her four studio albums and was even inducted into the prestigious Grand Ole Opry. Not only has Ballerini proven that she is a skilled songwriter and performer, but that has the star power to be considered one of the great voices in Nashville.

Here are the 12 Best Kelsea Ballerini songs that will instantly make you fall in love with the new queen of country pop.

12. "I Hate Love Songs"


Co-written with Shane McAnally and Old Dominion's Trevor Rosen, this '50s inspired country song almost didn't make the cut for Ballerini's sophomore album Unapologetically. But the breezy lyrics calling out romantic cliches landed Ballerini a standing ovation at the Grand Ole Opry so she and her label decided it definitely needed to be included on her next album. We couldn't agree more. The cheeky lyrics and unique melody make it one of her most memorable outside of her more mainstream hits.

11. "Better Luck Next Time"

This might not be a Ballerini song many are familiar with unless you watched the short lived (but seriously good) series Songland. The show featured aspiring songwriters who team up with some of the biggest names in the business to write a song for a major entertainer. Ballerini was one of the featured entertainers in the first season and chose to record this song written by Darius Coleman and coach Ryan Tedder. It (so far) was never included on an actual album, but Ballerini did record the song and it's one of my personal favorites.

10. "Love Me Like You Mean It"


After signing with Black River Entertainment, Ballerini released her debut single in 2014 at the young age of 19. As mentioned above, this was the first female debut to hit the top of the country Billboard chart since "Jesus, Take the Wheel" so it was kind of a big's pop country at its finest and was the perfect way for Ballerini to introduce herself to country radio.

9. "the other girl" (ballerini version)

As much as I loved the duet with Halsey that was included on her album kelsea, I really prefer the stripped back version from ballerini. The original version won CMT Performance of the Year in 2021, but part of the reason I loved ballerini so much was it took all of the amazing songs from kelsea and just took a step back so you were just left with the country singer's voice and much more subdued music.

8. "Miss Me More"


Ballerini named her 2019 tour after this powerhouse single from Unapologetically. It's a girl power anthem that has everything from a catchy chorus to some serious vocals from Ballerini that almost remind me of a young Carrie Underwood. It's definitely one of the best songs from her second album which is probably why it was a number one hit in Canada and top 10 hit in the U.S.

7. "hole in the bottle," with Shania Twain

The current queen of country pop with the ultimate queen of country pop? Yes, please! "hole in the bottle" was fun anyway, but this remix is just so fun. This was actually Ballerini's first drinking song. Originally released on third album kelsea, its definitely not a sad drinking song. It's a breezy, poppy, fun number -- all about getting over a breakup...with the help fo wine, obviously.

6. "Legends"


Hillary Lindsey, the Grammy Award nominated songwriter behind "Jesus, Take the Wheel" and Little Big Town's "Girl Crush" co-wrote this song, which served as Unapologetically's lead single. It's a ballad that I honestly couldn't stop listening to when the album was first released. It's all about looking back on a past relationship with gratitude. Though Ballerini is young, this was a prime example of her mature songwriting skills, proof that her music resonates with listeners of all ages. Whether you're 15 or 55, this song should inspire you to look back on a past love on a more positive note.

5. "Dibs"

Another gem from The First Time is this country bop that gave Ballerini her second number one hit. It was actually one of the songs on her self titled EP that made it onto her first album and it is catchy and fun in the best way. Not only had the young singer been the first in years to debut at the top of the charts, she now was the first to have her first two singles hit number one since Jamie O'Neal in 2001 with "There Is No Arizona" and "When I Think About Angels." "Dibs" is upbeat, impossible not to sing along with, and perfectly captures Ballerini's bubbly personality.

4. "homecoming queen?"


The lead single of ballerini is emotional and raw and probably the biggest tearjerker of her career. It's all about a homecoming queen who hides her emotions from the world. Whether you were homecoming queen or not, most women can relate to feeling serious pressure and insecurities from the outside world. Sometimes we need reminders that it's okay to be our true selves even if we're worried about what everyone else will think. Ballerini's stripped back music video was the perfect way to really showcase the touching lyrics.

3. "Peter Pan"

One of the biggest hits from Ballerini's debut album was definitely "Peter Pan." The ballad about a former love being immature, with nods to the famous boy who wouldn't grow up, really resonated with listeners and was the country star's third No. 1 from her debut album. She now became the first female to get all three debut singles at the top of the charts since Wynonna Judd in 1992. This was really one of the first songs that proved that the young singer was dimensional as a singer and songwriter, capable of touching ballads as well as upbeat pop songs.

2. "half of my hometown," feat. Kenny Chesney


"half of my hometown" is really the perfect way to describe the way anyone feels when they feel conflicted with leaving their hometown to follow their dreams. Ballerini recruited fellow Knoxville native Kenny Chesney for this collaboration which ended up winning both Musical Event of the Year and Video of the Year at the 55th Country Music Association Awards. She even filmed scenes at her old high school for the official music video, which gives you a glimpse of where Ballerini came from before she decided to move to Music City.

1. "Yeah Boy"

Somehow this was the first single on Ballerini's debut album that didn't reach number one and I'm still not sure how -- it's so good. Another gem, which made it to the album from her original EP, "Yeah Boy" is an irresistible, upbeat '90s-inspired jam.

READ MORE: 2022 ACM Awards: Dolly Parton and Kelsea Ballerini Perform 'Big Dreams and Faded Jeans'

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