Off the heels of her newest single, I Hate Love Songs, Kelsea Ballerini is taking time to reflect on her journey from a Tennessee farm to her role as country music’s rising star ― and how it didn’t come easy.

The 24-year-old musician opened up to Nik Carter and Lori Majewski of SiriusXM’s Feedback on VOLUME (Ch. 106) about the hard lesson she learned at age 13 and which of her idols helped her become the artist she is today.

Most would consider being compared to Taylor Swift a compliment, but that wasn’t the case for Ballerini during her first label meeting as a young teen. After performing her song Flawless for executives, she was told, “We already have a Taylor Swift.” The comment “broke her heart,” but pushed her to find her own sound.

Ballerini also mentions artists like Shania TwainFaith Hill and Trisha Yearwood as true inspirations and instrumental to her success. She shared a story about Twain taking an Uber to her Toronto concert and snapping some pre-show photos to show her support.

Hear Kelsea Ballerini’s full interview and performance on VOLUME’s Feedback. 

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