“Love Me Like You Mean It” singer-songwriter Kelsea Ballerini has been selected by ASCAP to receive the prestigious Vanguard Award at this year’s ASCAP Country Music Awards, taking place Nov. 6 in downtown Nashville. The award recognizes an artist’s impact on American music, with previous recipients including Chris Stapleton, The Civil Wars and St. Vincent.
Billboard’s 2015 “Rising Star” holds the distinction of being the only female country singer to release three consecutive No. 1s — “Love Me Like You Mean It,” “Peter Pan” and “Dibs” — from her debut album, The First Time. She also scored a top 5 hit with “Yeah Boy” and recently released “Legends,” the opening single from her forthcoming sophomore LP, Unapologetically.
“From the moment she released her debut single, Kelsea Ballerini’s fearless songwriting and gifted vocals have made her one of the most exciting new artists in country music,” said John Titta, ASCAP executive vp of membership. “By combining pop and country sounds with thoughtful, emotionally honest lyrics, she has unapologetically forged her own creative path to success and gained millions of fans along the way. We are thrilled to honor her with the ASCAP Vanguard Award.”
As previously announced, the event will also see Rodney Crowell receive the Founders Award, ASCAP’s highest honor. The 55th annual ASCAP Country Music Awards take place Nov. 6 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.