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Kelsea Ballerini Takes Off the Mask of Perfection in ‘homecoming queen?’

Even the homecoming queen cries...

Written by Chris Parton
Kelsea Ballerini Takes Off the Mask of Perfection in ‘homecoming queen?’
Kelsea Ballerini; Single art courtesy of Black River Entertainment

Country star Kelsea Ballerini takes off the mask of camera-ready perfection in her vulnerable new single, “homecoming queen?,” the first taste of her upcoming third studio album.

Written by Ballerini with Jimmy Robbins and Nicolle Galyon, the emotional ballad pulls back the veil on the pressure we all feel (and women especially) to show a brave face and never let our bad days show. In Ballerini’s case, it’s tied to her celebrity, but with strings and sympathetic vocals, she draws a line directly between that and growing up through the image of an always-smiling homecoming queen. Basically, she sweetly sings that it’s ok to not be ok.

“I’ve never been so proud to release anything and start a new chapter…here’s my heart in a song,” Ballerini wrote in a social media post.

Along with the song, Ballerini has also released a powerful music video for the track. Directed by Shane Drake, it shows the rollercoaster of emotions experienced by many stars — one moment thousands of fans are screaming their name, and the next they are almost completely alone with their insecurities. But like Ballerini sings in the ballad, “nobody’s feeling sorry for ya,” and as the camera spins Ballerini’s glamorous facade slowly fades away, until all that is left is the real, weeping “her.”

“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,” goes the chorus.

“homecoming queen?” marks the first taste of an upcoming project which has yet to be announced, and it follows the Platinum certified “Miss Me More.” That track extended Ballerini’s streak of Gold or Platinum singles seven in a row — which is every single she’s ever released.