Kelsea Ballerini was the inaugural performer on CMT’s newly launched digital series Next Women of Country Live, which debuted Tuesday, June 12th. Ballerini gave an acoustic performance of her current single “Peter Pan” in CMT’s Nashville studio that brought focus to her incisive songwriting and the light sandpaper-rough texture of her voice.
Ballerini, who has also been staying busy by hosting the series Greatest Hits alongside Arsenio Hall, is the first of many female performers slated to take part in the new series — updated weekly at nextwomen.cmt.com. Future guests include Maren Morris, Clare Dunn, Cam, Brandy Clark, Cassadee Pope, Kelleigh Bannen, RaeLynn, Mickey Guyton, Jana Kramer, Lauren Alaina, Maggie Rose, Brooke Eden, Lucie Silvas, Lindsay Ell, Carly Pearce, Ruthie Collins, Danielle Bradbery, Tara Thompson and Courtney Cole.
Next Women of Country Live is an extension of the Next Women franchise, which was started in 2013 to address the lack of space afforded to women on country station playlists. It has spawned two tours, including one with Ballerini and Jana Kramer and, most recently, Jennifer Nettles, Brandy Clark, Lindsay Ell and Tara Thompson.