'Greatest Hits' Host Kelsea Ballerini Is A Country Star On The Rise
My classic-TV-loving self was pumped to see reboots of game shows happening on ABC, but Greatest Hits is the most intriguing show the network is offering this summer. Arsenio Hall will be hosting the music show, but he's not alone since Kelsea Ballerini is hosting Greatest Hits alongside him. While Hall has been a household name since the 1980s, Ballerini doesn't have the same fame. Yet, if you're either a country music fan, a Taylor Swift fan, or both, you've probably heard of her before.
Greatest Hits is a music show featuring notable musicians and bands performing songs from the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. Each episode will highlight music from a five-year time span of a decade. ABC is emphasizing this idea of three decades of great music by mixing Hall, most notable for his late-night talk show in the '80s and '90s, and Ballerini, who is just getting her own country music career started. I can see what the network was going for by combining the veteran host and winner of The Celebrity Apprentice with the fresh-faced Ballerini. At 22 years old, Ballerini wasn't even alive in the '80s, so having Hall's expertise to introduce massive musical hits from the 1980s and 1990s makes total sense, while Ballerini will be able to provide insight for younger viewers not only as a fan, but as a musician herself.
So if you don't know who Ballerini is, why should you? Well, the country singer and songwriter first hit the scene with her single "Love Me Like You Mean It" in 2014. The song was on her first full studio album, The First Time, which she released in 2015 and includes the Swift-approved "Yeah Boy" and her current single "Peter Pan." (Not to be confused with the other Peter Pan-inspired popular song — Ruth B's "Lost Boy.")
Speaking of Swift, Ballerini can call the superstar a friend as the two of them have not only performed together, but partied together since Ballerini attended Abigail Anderson's birthday party, hosted by none other than Swift, in 2015. You can check out their Twitter and Instagram accounts to get more insight into this friendship — like that time Swift tweeted about driving around and listening to Ballerini's EP on repeat. That's some serious praise from the country-pop crossover queen.
While having a famous friend like Swift can definitely help your music career, Ballerini is also doing fine all on her own these days. Not only is she hosting Greatest Hits, but she received the New Female Vocalist of the Year award at the Academy of Country Music Awards and announced her first headlining tour while promoting Greatest Hits. Her tour doesn't start until the fall, but she'll be live on stage throughout the summer as the opening act for Rascal Flatts.
The Tennessee native tweeted on June 27 that she was starting a new record (and eating tacos!), so with new music, her first tour, this hosting gig, and a general likability, you definitely shouldn't expect to see any less of Ballerini after Greatest Hits premieres on Thursday, June 30 at 9 p.m. This singer's career is definitely on the rise — even beyond the country music world — and maybe in three decades, one of her songs will be featured on a Greatest Hits-inspired show.
Image: Tyler Golden/ABC