Kelsea Ballerini Is “Billboard’s” Rising Star of 2015

Natasha Moustache/CMA

Billboard will honor Kelsea Ballerini as this year’s Rising Star at its Women in Music event December 11 in New York City.

 “At 22, [she] already has a career to kill for,”says Janice Min, the co-president and chief creative officer of Guggenheim Media’s Entertainment Group, which oversees Billboard. “Much like Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift before, Kelsea is a powerful songwriter and singer that has Nashville a buzz. Expertly bridging the pop-country gap, her songs have heart and it is only the beginning.”

Her debut single “Love Me Like You Mean It” topped the chart earlier this year. It’s the first time a new artist has accomplished that feat since Carrie did nine years ago with “Jesus Take the Wheel.”

Kelsea also will perform at the show, in addition to picking up the award that went to pop star Ariana Grande last year. Lady Gaga will be named Billboard’s Woman of the Year.

You can watch the show December 18 on Lifetime.

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