Kelsea Ballerini opened up even more about her heartache and divorce as she gets ready to close that chapter of her life — for good.
Ballerini, looking ahead to turning 30 next month, released an extended version of her vulnerable EP that made its initial debut on Valentine’s Day, along with an accompanying short film. Rolling Up The Welcome Mat (For Good) tells more of her side to the story after announcing last year that she and now ex-husband Morgan Evans decided to part ways. The now-7-track collection is available Friday (August 11), at the heels of Ballerini's three short film screenings and conversations with fans in L.A., Nashville and New York.
Rolling Up The Welcome Mat (For Good) swaps the original “Penthouse” for “Penthouse (Healed Version),” recorded live in concert and making fan-favorite lyric swaps (particularly, changing “now I don't know where you're sleeping, baby,” to “now I don't care where you're sleeping, baby”). The new version of “Blindsided” includes the widely-demanded added verse that Ballerini unveiled during her first-ever performance as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live earlier this year. The added lyrics appear to respond to Evans’ heartbreak ballad following the divorce, “Over For You,” which includes the lyric, “I would have searched the whole world over for you.” Ballerini sings in the For Good version of “Blindsided”: “You would’ve searched the whole world over? Yeah, sure, okay.”
Ballerini also delivered a highly-anticipated extended version of “Interlude” — extending the original 46-second version to 2:20 — and a hopeful new ballad about beginning to date again after divorce, wondering “what the f**k do I do” as she waits for her date to pick her up. Now, Ballerini is in a relationship with Outer Banks star Chase Stokes after she “slid into his DMs” in December. Ballerini confirmed their relationship month later in an interview, shortly after releasing the original version of Rolling Up The Welcome Mat.
“‘it’s kinda scary opening a wound that time has mended,’” Ballerini quoted from the new version of “Interlude” in an Instagram caption earlier this month, speaking about the re-release. “But this unexplainably transformative welcome mat had one last bit of rolling up to do 🤍
“it’s most important that i articulate that this re-release is for you and you only. the added outro’s that we ended up screamsinging nightly on tour, the lyric changes along a healing journey, hearing you very loudly explain that the INTERLUDE NEEDS TO BE A FULL SONG KELSEA COME ON. plus, a new song to bring the story more up to date,” Ballerini continued. “with this, comes a favor. from the deepest and purest part of my heart, i ask that you help this be ours and let the music simply be the music, not dig back into the experience that it was written about nearly a year ago. as a songwriter, producer, artist i’m proud and protective of this EP, and as a woman and human also proud and protective of the new, happy season of life i’m in.”
“my real hope is for us to continue growing, healing, and evolving together with acceptance and kindness (even when we unleash our inner fire breathing dragon singing the new versions of these songs). am i right? 😉”
Ballerini recently performed some of her career-spanning hits — including from Rolling Up The Welcome Mat and her latest full-length album, Subject To Change — for an intimate crowd during her exclusive iHeartRadio LIVE show in Nashville, Tennessee. iHeartRadio’s Amy Brown hosted a Q&A with Ballerini between performances, and Ballerini shared why writing the music on her EP was not only “therapeutic,” but “necessary.”
“(Rolling Up The Welcome Mat) was necessary for me personally and my journey for making sense of my life at that time,” Ballerini said. “And now, in this season, I’m learning that it was necessary for me to open up more as an artist and as a songwriter and learn that the more zoomed in I can get, the better it is all around. It’s been a huge learning experience and necessary.”
Ballerini is set to perform a special iHeartLand show in Fortnite and Roblox. During Ballerini’s exclusive show in iHeartLand, fans can see the country singer-songwriter perform live, as well as open up about her music and more during a special Q&A hosted by Brown. Fans can experience Kelsea Ballerini in iHeartLand in Fortnite and on Roblox for two days only, starting Friday, August 18th at 7pm ET/4pm PT.
“Blindsided (Yeah, Sure, Okay)”