Pictured (l-r): Black River Entertainment's Gordon Kerr and Celia Froelig, Kerr, Whitehead, Ballerini, Carpenter, Parallel Music Publishing's Tim Hunze and ASCAP's Mike Sistad. Photo by Ed Rode.

ASCAP hosted a #1 party to celebrate “Love Me Like You Mean It,” Black River Entertainment recording artist Kelsea Ballerini’s first #1 song as an artist and a songwriter, on Monday, August 10th in the lobby of the performing rights organization’s Music Row offices. A shoulder-to-shoulder crowd cheered Ballerini and her co-writers Lance Carpenter, Josh Kerr and Forest Glen Whitehead, who also celebrated their first chart-topping hits as songwriters. Whitehead also produced the track, which made Ballerini the first solo female artist in nine years to hit #1 with her debut country single and one of only 11 women to have ever hit the top of the charts with a debut. Publishers Black River Music Publishing and Parallel Music Publishing were also on hand to celebrate the group.

Abuzz with shout-outs from superstars Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Little Big Town, Ballerini has been touted by Billboard Magazine as “Country’s Next Queen,” praised by Rolling Stone as one of the “10 Artists You Need To Know” from all genres and selected as one of CMT’s Next Women of Country. Her breakout hit “Love Me Like You Mean It” and catchy new single “Dibs” are featured on her debut album The First Time, which landed Top 5 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart. Produced by Forest Glen Whitehead and Jason Massey, Ballerini wrote or co-wrote all 12 songs on the project. This summer, the talented songwriter-artist is hitting the road playing major festivals, headline club dates and select dates with fellow ASCAP members Alan Jackson and Lady Antebellum, as well as Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban.


The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP’s mission is to license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works and to distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances. ASCAP members write the world’s best-loved music and ASCAP has pioneered the efficient licensing of that music to hundreds of thousands of enterprises who use it to add value to their business – from bars, restaurants and retail, to radio, TV and cable, to Internet, mobile services and more. The ASCAP license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly. With over 540,000 members representing more than 10 million copyrighted works, ASCAP is the worldwide leader in performance royalties, service and advocacy for songwriters and composers, and the only American performing rights organization (PRO) owned and governed by its writer and publisher members.

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