Kelsea Ballerini Files Legal Action Against Alleged Hacker

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Court filings show Kelsea Ballerini is taking legal action against an Ohio man who allegedly hacked a device and leaked her unreleased, unfinished music.

Ballerini, 30, along with Black River Entertainment and songwriter-producer Alysa Vanderheym — whose work with Ballerini includes her 2023 EP, Rolling Up The Welcome Mat — are listed as plaintiffs in the court documents. PEOPLE first reported on Friday afternoon (April 19) that Ballerini filed for a temporary restraining order against the alleged hacker, and the plaintiffs obtained an injunction to protect the recordings from being illegally released again, citing “continued, irreparable harm.” The alleged hacker is Bo Ewing, of Ohio, a former fan club member who “has since become disenfranchised” with the singer, PEOPLE notes of the court filings. He allegedly gained access to the unfinished music "through gaining back-door access to the device of either, or both, of Ms. Ballerini or Ms. Vanderheym."

"Protection of an artist’s music is of the upmost importance,” a spokesperson for Ballerini said in a statement to the outlet. “Artists spend countless hours perfecting their craft and telling their stories through their music. Stealing and sharing unfinished music is illegal and harms the integrity of the creative process.”

Ballerini has recently teased her next chapter of music, including when she performed the unreleased ballad, “To The Men That Love Women After Heartbreak,” with Karen Fairchild and Hillary Lindsey on the Grand Ole Opry stage in Nashville, Tennessee. Her latest song to release is “Love Me Like You Mean It (Reimagined),” putting an updated spin on one of the first hit singles of her career.

“ten years ago, i was twenty, naive, starry eyed, and absolutely relentless on putting my music out into the world,” Ballerini said when she announced the reimagined ballad, which she performed during the 2024 CMT Music Awards earlier this month. “I’m proud to say, nothing has changed…except a DECADE of this wildly beautiful journey we’ve gotten to share full of tours and sing alongs, wins and losses, and growing up together. soooo, before we move into new music (yes, it’s coming i swear) i wanted to celebrate the beginning with you.”

The new version of “Love Me Like You Mean It” marks Ballerini’s first song to release in 2024. Before that, she delivered the extended edition of her deeply vulnerable EP, Rolling Up The Welcome Mat (For Good), and her full-length album, Subject To Change.