Meet The Two Young Country Singers Nominated For Best New Artist At The 2017 Grammys

Kelsea Ballerini and Maren Morris are up for one of the evening’s biggest prizes.

December 06, 2016

The 2017 Grammy nominees were announced today, and the Best New Artist category sports two names that may be unfamiliar to some FADER readers: Kelsea Ballerini and Maren Morris. The musicians are two rising stars of country music, and have both logged important milestones in their respective careers. Learn more about them below.

Kelsea's debut album The First Time went gold, while Maren enjoyed a platinum single in "My Church."
Columbia Nashville / YouTube

"My Church" peaked at number 50 on the Billboard Hot 100 before getting certified, while The First Time got its gold plaque in October 2016.

Maren has co-written songs for Tim McGraw, and Kelly Clarkson, as well as tracks for the acclaimed TV series Nashville.

Her talents appeared on "Last Turn Home" from McGraw's 2014 album Sundown Heaven Town, and on Clarkson's "Second Wind", taken from 2015's Piece by Piece.

Kelsea co-hosted the performance series Greatest Hits with Arsenio Hall.
Maren didn't make the cut for those big TV singing competitions.
Columbia Nashville / YouTube

"It's full circle, because I was rejected from The Voice," she told Rolling Stone. "I was rejected from American Idol — and I'm happier for it now."

Maren's writing advice: drink a lot the night before.
Columbia Nashville / YouTube

This is why sometimes it's good to write hungover because it gets rid of your filter," she told Rolling Stone. "You come out with stuff that you can't overthink because you're hungover. I've written some really good songs that I love hungover because I wasn't overthinking it."

Kelsea's hits have historical significance.
Black River / YouTube

She's the fifth female country artist in history to have back-to-back number one hits on the country charts with "Dibs" and "Love Me Like You Mean It."

Kelsea is a big Shania Twain fan.
She's paid tribute to the Canadian country artist on Greatest Hits and at this year's CMT Artists Of The Year Special, where she got a nod from the Canadian country legend.  
They texted each other after the Grammy news broke.

“One of the first messages I got was from Maren [Morris], which was really cool,” Kelsea told Entertainment Weekly. “It was really cool to be like, ‘Oh my god! We get to go together!’ And it’s cool, too, because we’re both chicks in country music and we get to represent our genre together. It’s a big, frickin’ deal”

Meet The Two Young Country Singers Nominated For Best New Artist At The 2017 Grammys