Over the past two years, Kelsea Ballerini has become one of country music’s brightest new talents, scoring big hits with her first three singles: “Love Me Like You Mean It,” “Dibs” and “Peter Pan.”
The singer-songwriter proved why she has struck such a chord with listeners when she recently performed a spare, heartfelt version of “Humble and Kind” on The Bobby Bones Show.
Tim McGraw took the song – written by Lori McKenna as advice for her five children ¬– to Number One (his 26th) on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart earlier this year. McGraw’s version, the second single from his 14th studio album Damn Country Music, was already fairly stripped down, but Ballerini takes it a step further here, accompanying herself on acoustic guitar and closing her eyes as she seemingly gets lost in the song’s message.
Ballerini’s interpretation more closely replicates McKenna’s own reading of the song as she performed it on the Grand Ole Opry in December 2014, more than a year before McGraw’s single was released.
“Humble and Kind” has spawned its own social movement via the hashtag #humbleandkind, inspired a book by McGraw (who, in keeping with the song’s theme, donated all proceeds to charity) and seems destined to be nominated for a slew of awards when nominations for the 50th annual CMA Awards are announced August 31st.
Ballerini, who co-hosted ABC’s summer singing series Greatest Hits, is on the road with Rascal Flatts through September before kicking off her first headlining tour in October.