NASHVILLE, Tenn, Nov 7, (Agencies): Country singer Kelsea Ballerini got the text of a lifetime recently. “The other day I got a text from a mutual friend that said, ‘Are you in Nashville? Reba wants to grab a drink,’” Ballerini recalled. That was, of course, the one and only Reba McEntire, one of country music’s reigning queens. “I was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah!’” Ballerini said excitedly. The singers, both nominated for female vocalist of the year at Wednesday’s Country Music Association Awards, will perform a duet of Ballerini’s new song, “Legends,” at the show in Nashville, Tennessee.
“I am so glad (Reba) did reach out to do that because we didn’t even talk about music. We just hung out and got to know each other,” said Ballerini.
The meet-up proves that in a couple short years the 24-year-old Ballerini has proven her place among country music’s biggest stars. Her 2015 debut album had multiple radio hits and earned her awards. She was even nominated for best new artist at this year’s Grammys. And performing rights organization ASCAP will give her the Vanguard Award on Monday.
Ballerini is on the verge of another big year with her sophomore record, “Unapologetically,” released last week. It tells a smart and catchy story of the Knoxville native who moved to Nashville at 15, stayed true to her identity and found love. She structured the album into chapters of her life, starting off a little dark and ending on a high note. “It was like fitting a puzzle together,” Ballerini said. “I want people to listen to it and without looking at the credits, know that I wrote every song.”
Here’s a look at some of the key songs of the album. “Miss Me More” is both parts a Britney Spears-esque breakup song and anthem to preserving your identity in a relationship. Ballerini details the real-life experience of a man telling her not to wear high heels “’cause I couldn’t be taller than you.”
“With young love so many times, especially with young girls, we invest everything we can into a relationship and at the end of it, you really think you’re going to be sad about losing this person or losing the time you spent with them,” Ballerini said. “But you really look in the mirror and you realize you lost yourself and that’s the saddest part.”
“In Between” is one of Ballerini’s most autobiographical songs, as she recounts her transition from a “guitar to a Grammy.” The defining line of the track for Ballerini was, “Sometimes I’m my mother’s daughter and sometimes I’m her friend.” Ballerini credits her mother with helping her through these important life moments, and the song ends with a voicemail recording of her mother.
“I surprised her with it,” Ballerini said. “I sent her the song without it because that was an addition like two weeks before the album came out. It was a super last minute idea. Oh gosh, she was so excited.”
The song “Unapologetically” was written just weeks after Ballerini met her fiancé Morgan Evans, an Australian-born country singer.
“I always had a rule for myself that I would never ever date an artist,” Ballerini said with a laugh. “Then life happened.”
The sweet love song, in which Evans sings backup vocals, shows Ballerini ready to jump into the relationship despite what others might think.
“If it’s serious, they are going to say I am too young and they are going to say it’s too fast,” Ballerini said. “This is me saying that I don’t care. It’s so freeing to say that.”
Metal legend Ozzy Osbourne announced Monday what he said will be his final tour, months after his original band Black Sabbath called it quits.
Osbourne — who has maintained an avid following for five decades with sensational and often sinister live shows — will open the tour on May 5 in Mexico at a venue to be determined.
The “Prince of Darkness” will then tour Chile, Argentina and Brazil before a month of European dates opening on June 1 in Moscow.
The 68-year-old English singer turned Los Angeles resident said he will close out the tour in North America, with dates to be announced later.
“People keep asking me when I’m retiring,” Osbourne said in a statement. “This will be my final world tour, but I can’t say I won’t do some shows here and there.”
His touring band will mark the return of American lead guitarist Zakk Wylde, who helped define Osbourne’s fast-charging sound starting in the late 1980s.
Osbourne replaced Wylde in 2009, with varying accounts behind the split, but recently brought him back on.
Black Sabbath was instrumental in creating heavy metal, taking the foundations of the blues while bringing in a distorted guitar and a fascination with the occult.
LOS ANGELES: Country star Kenny Chesney took the top spot on the Billboard 200 album chart on Monday with his new live album, while releases by pop singer Kelly Clarkson and rapper Chris Brown debuted in the top three.
Chesney’s “Live in No Shoes Nation” sold more than 218,000 units, according to the latest weekly data from Nielsen SoundScan. The vast majority were in traditional album sales.
Billboard said it was the eighth No. 1 album for Chesney, 49, one of country music’s most popular performers.
The Billboard 200 chart tallies units from album sales, song sales (10 songs equal one album) and streaming activity (1,500 streams equal one album).
Former “American Idol” winner Clarkson landed in second place with more than 79,000 sales of her album “Meaning of Life,” while Brown took the No. 3 spot with “Heartbreak on a Full Moon.”
The Halloween collaboration “Without Warning” by rappers Savage and Offset and music producer Metro Boomin debuted at No. 4.
The busy week of new releases pushed pop star Pink down to 21st place on the Billboard 200 after the No. 1 debut last week of her album “Beautiful Trauma.”
On the digital songs chart, which measures online single sales, alt-rockers Imagine Dragons retained their No. 1 spot with another 54,000 units sold for “Thunder.”