Kelsea Ballerini, Maddie & Tae Named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 List
Forbes has revealed its annual 30 Under 30 list, and two country acts have made the 2017 iteration: Kelsea Ballerini and Maddie & Tae are both included in this year's roster of "game changers" in the music industry.
Given their young, but extremely impressive, careers so far, it's no surprise that Ballerini and Maddie & Tae made the highly selective Forbes list. At just 23 years old, Ballerini made history in 2016 when she became the first female artist (including duos and groups) in country music history to hit No. 1 with her first three consecutive singles from a debut album. She spent the end of the year on the road for her first-ever headlining tour (aptly entitled The First Time Tour), and is nominated for Best New Artist at the 2017 Grammys, set to take place on Feb. 12.
Maddie & Tae, meanwhile, have also made lasting changes to country music in their relatively short time in the industry, pushing back against gender stereotypes since bursting onto the scene in 2014. Their first single, "Girl in a Country Song," shot to the top of the country charts while directly calling out the double standards in the genre. Since then, Tae Dye and Maddie Marlow (both 21 years old) have used their skills as songwriters to empower their audience (especially young women) with tongue-in-cheek tunes, inspirational anthems and songs that poke fun at bullies.
The yearly Forbes' 30 Under 30 list features 600 individuals under the age of 30 who made significant contributions in one of 20 industries in the previous year; each industry's portion of the list highlights 30 names, thus the 30 Under 30 moniker. Recognized industries include everything from entertainment to education, technology and science to music. Ballerini and Maddie & Tae join 28 other young musicians, managers, label founders and producers on the music list, which is available in full on Forbes' website.
See Photos From Kelsea Ballerini's The First Time Tour