Kelsea Ballerini Fan-Girled Hard the First Time She Met Carrie Underwood
Kelsea Ballerini got to meet one of her country music idols -- Carrie Underwood -- well before her own career in the format kicked off. Appropriately enough, the two women met at the Grand Ole Opry, when Ballerini attended a show as a fan and somehow made it backstage. That first interaction, Ballerini admits, didn't go exactly as she'd hoped.
"I remember I just went up to her and thought I was just gonna say 'Hi' and take a picture like a normal person," Ballerini recalls, "and instead, I just blurted out, 'Girl, you got soul!' I was like, 'What?!'
"But she doesn't remember that, I don't think -- which is good," Ballerini adds, explaining that Underwood's impact on her career has always been massive, and that she continues to draw inspiration from the superstar.
"She's the one, for me, that I've always looked up to, not only in her music, but I think she has the kindest heart," Ballerini says. "I think that she's so poised. I think she's done everything with grace, and I've always wanted to follow in those footsteps."
That first awkward meeting came full circle on April 16, when Underwood officially inducted Ballerini as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, offering up some -- albeit more eloquent -- fawning of her own onstage before she presented the Opry's new member with her new trophy.
"You have accomplished so much in your career, and you will undoubtedly accomplish infinite amounts more in your life. Awards, No. 1s, sales ... this is better than all that," Underwood told Ballerini during the ceremony. "This is the heart and soul of country music. The Opry has been and always will be here -- the heart and soul of country music, the family. You are in it."
The Grand Ole Opry Through the Years