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Kelsea Ballerini: The 10 Best Songs by the Country Sweetheart, Ranked

Did your favorite make the list?

Kelsea Ballerini has risen in the ranks of country music to become one of the most celebrated artists of the last decade with songs we can’t get enough of. Her 2023 EP, Rolling Up the Welcome Mat, was a raw and honest look at her divorce from fellow country artist Morgan Evans — and her honest lyrics and musical storytelling is one of the reasons why she’s one of the biggest names of the genre.

Her skills as a musician have earned her multiple Grammy nominations over the years, ACM Awards, CMA Awards and plenty more. She’s collaborated with some of country’s greatest, and has even penned a book of poetry, Feel Your Way Through.

Here, take a look at our ranking of the top 10 best Kelsea Ballerini songs — though it’s nearly impossible to pick just a few favorites out of her extensive catalog of hits.

Kelsea Ballerini songs

10. “First Time” (2015)

The title track off her 2015 album The First Time, this track reflects on a past love and the realization that sometimes it’s better not to re-open old wounds or re-visit past loves, no matter how hard you might want to.

The song talks about a girl singing on her front porch waiting for this guy to show up who never shows up,” she said in a behind-the-scenes video posted to her YouTube channel.

“I wrote this song on my front porch waiting for this guy to show up who never showed up. And when I realized he wasn’t coming, I went upstairs and I wrote the song, and I just remember needing to write it. And writing that song was me learning that lesson, and this is when I learned that sometimes when life shut doors it’s for a reason.”

9. “Peter Pan” (2015) Kelsea Ballerini songs

On “Peter Pan,” Kelsea Ballerini sings of a love interest who can’t seem to settle down or grow up, much like the song’s namesake. “You’re just a lost boy, with your head up in the clouds/
You’re just a lost boy, never keep your feet on the ground,” she sings on the track.

8. “Just Married” (2023) Kelsea Ballerini songs

The second track on her 2023 EP Rolling Up the Welcome Mat, the gut-wrenching song chronicles the gradual end of her marriage. She sings, “It was a beautiful wedding/Sometimes I still taste the Veuve/And dammit, I wish I wasn’t this ready/To undo I do.”

7. “IF YOU GO DOWN (I’M GOIN’ DOWN TOO)” (2022)

This upbeat track off of 2022’s Subject to Change, “IF YOU GO DOWN (I’M GOIN’ DOWN TOO)” is the ultimate friendship anthem, perfect for screaming alongside your gal pals who you’d ride with until the end.

“It’s a good thing we’re each other’s kinda crazy/Ain’t no judgment or keepin’ score/If you rob a bank, I’m your getaway Mercedes/God knows that’s what friends are for.”

6. “homecoming queen?” (2020) Kelsea Ballerini songs

On “homecoming queen?,” Ballerini sings a tune all too familiar, breaking down the reality of putting on a happy face to the outside world even when you’re going through tough times.

“What if I told you the world wouldn’t end/If you started showing what’s under your skin?/What if you let ’em all in on the lie?/Even the homecoming queen cries.”

5. “HEARTFIRST” (2022) Kelsea Ballerini songs

“HEARTFIRST” is an upbeat love song that explores the excitement and unknown of falling hard for someone, despite the possibility of it going wrong.

“Could be forever or we might break/That’s just the kind of risk that we take/My head is yellin’ that I could get hurt/But I’m gonna jump right in, baby, with my heart first.”

4. “LOVE IS A COWBOY” (2022)

In “LOVE IS A COWBOY” Ballerini compares love to the nature of a cowboy: “Rough around the edges, stops you in your tracks/Wrecks you in the worst way when it looks like that/Knocks you off the horse but it keeps you comin’ back/Love is a cowboy, mm-mm.”

3. “Secondhand Smoke” (2015)

Another deeply personal track, “Secondhand Smoke” takes listeners through Ballerini’s experience as a child of divorce, afraid of repeating her parents’ mistakes in her own relationships.

“Sometimes I hear myself sayin’/Hand-me-down words/It’s so easy to forget/That he ain’t him, and I ain’t her.”

2. “Mountain With a View” (2023)

The first track off Rolling Up the Welcome Mat, Ballerini sings about her realization that her marriage was over.

“I’m wearin’ the ring still, but I think I’m lyin’/Sometimes you forget yours, I think we’re done tryin’/I realize you loved me much more at twenty-three/I think that this is when it’s over for me.”

1. “Leave Me Again” (2023)

Ballerini closes out Rolling Up the Welcome Mat with this song full of well-wishes and hope: In her future relationships, she hopes to never lose sight of herself again.

“For a while the shoe fit/But then I outgrew it/And staying only made me get real good at pretend/So, I hope I never leave me again.”


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