GRAMMY-Nominated, Platinum-Selling Country Star Kelsea Ballerini Will Headline Music Biz 2018 Awards Breakfast

April 17, 2018 – The Music Business Association (Music Biz) will welcome GRAMMY-nominated, Platinum-selling Country star Kelsea Ballerini for a performance at the Music Biz 2018 conference’s Awards Breakfast & Presentations, sponsored by the Country Music Association (CMA). Ballerini’s performance will cap off the event’s concluding segment honoring RIAA CEO Cary Sherman with the Presidential Award for Outstanding Executive Achievement. The Breakfast, to be held on Wednesday morning, May 16 at the Omni Nashville Hotel, will also recognize Dimple Records’ Radakovitz Family with the Independent Spirit Award.

“Kelsea is an incredible talent, and we’re thrilled to have her perform at our Awards Breakfast,” said Music Biz President James Donio. “Her career got off to a meteoric start, with multiple award nominations and wins, sold-out concert tours, and even making Country music history… and she continues her stellar momentum.”

Ballerini, a Black River Entertainment recording artist, skyrocketed to stardom in 2015 after releasing her Gold-certified debut album, The First Time. Quickly establishing her place in Country music history, she became the first female Country artist — including duos and groups — to reach #1 on Billboard’s U.S. Country Airplay chart with her first three consecutive singles from a debut album — the Platinum-certified smashes “Love Me Like You Mean It,” “Dibs,” and “Peter Pan.” She released her acclaimed sophomore album, Unapologetically, in November 2017, which was dubbed a “grown-up statement” by Rolling Stone. The 12-track album — all of which was written or co-written by Ballerini — features the Gold-certified #1 hit “Legends” and current chart-rising single “I Hate Love Songs.” She is currently on the road for her headline THE UNAPOLOGETICALLY TOUR and will join Keith Urban’s GRAFFITI U WORLD TOUR as direct support this summer.  

The Awards Breakfast will also feature Music Biz President James Donio’s President’s Address, updating attendees on the state of the industry, highlighting Music Biz’s top initiatives of the past year, and detailing what to expect from the Association in 2018 and beyond. Music Biz Board Chairman Fred Beteille of Facebook will recognize the 2018-2019 Music Biz Board of Directors and announce the Scholarship Foundation Class of 2018.

Praised by The New York Times as an “elegant songwriter,” Ballerini has received the esteemed ASCAP Vanguard Award, CMT Next Women of Country’s Impact Award, Nashville Business Journal’s Artist of the Year, ACM Honor’s Gene Weed Milestone Award, iHeartRadio Music Award for Best New Country Artist, Billboard Women in Music’s Rising Star, multiple Radio Disney Music Awards, and several breakthrough female awards from the ACM and CMT. She was also nominated for a GRAMMY Award for Best New Artist as well as numerous CMA Awards, CMT Music Awards, American Music Awards, and more. In addition, Ballerini is a style maven who has appeared on numerous “Best Dressed” lists, including a multi-page fashion spread in Cosmopolitan’s March 2018 issue, Billboard’s GRAMMY Awards preview issue; Forbes’ “30 Under 30” class; and People’s “Beauty  at Every Age” list in their iconic World’s Most Beautiful issue. She was also nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year and Video of the Year for “Legends” at last Sunday night’s ACM Awards show.

The Music Biz Conference is the music industry’s premier event, giving the commerce and content sectors a place to meet with trading partners, network with new companies, learn about new trends and products impacting the music business, as well as music creatives a place to discuss their craft and learn more about the legal, metadata, financial, and other matters that impact their royalties. The 2018 event, which will celebrate the Association’s 60th anniversary, will also include the presentation of the Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award to Scooter Braun, who will also participate in a Keynote interview conducted by noted Washington, DC, Strategist and women’s rights advocate Hilary Rosen; the Artist of the Year Award to Ed Sheeran; the Chairman’s Award for Sustained Creative Achievement to Nile Rodgers; an Outstanding Achievement Award to record-breaking hit song “Despacito“; and a Breakthrough Artist Award to Republic Records singer/songwriter Julia Michaels. Wendy Goldstein, EVP of A&R at Republic Records, will Keynote the Music’s Leading Ladies Speak Out program. The conference will also feature the launch of the Music Business Hall of Fame, with a tribute to first inductee and late Tower Records Founder Russ Solomon from acclaimed actor and director Colin Hanks, and the first-ever #NEXTGEN_NOW panel, featuring success stories from young industry executives. For the full Music Biz 2018 preliminary schedule, visit

Registration for Music Biz 2018 is open now at For more information, visit

About the Music Business Association
The Music Business Association (Music Biz) is a membership organization that advances and promotes music commerce — a community committed to the full spectrum of monetization models in the industry. It provides common ground by offering thought leadership, resources, and unparalleled networking opportunities, all geared to the specific needs of its membership. Music Biz brings a unique perspective and valuable insight into the trends and changes that innovation brings. Today, we put our collective experience to work across all delivery models: physical, digital, mobile, and more. Music Biz and its members are committed to building the future of music commerce — together.

Music Biz Media Contact
Laurie Jakobsen, Jaybird Communications —, 646.484.6764