Kelsea Ballerini has parted ways with manager Fletcher Foster and Iconic Entertainment, Fosster and a rep for the singer confirmed to Variety. The singer signed with the company in January of 2015 as she was completing her debut album.
“I was first drawn to Kelsea professionally by her amazing songwriting and personally by her spirit,” Foster told Music Row at the time. “Once I saw her on stage and how she interacted with the audience and her fans, I knew we wanted to be a part of her life and career. She’s a very special person and talent.”
Foster had been with Ballerini through nearly all of one of the most meteoric rises in recent country history, especially remarkable given the difficulty for women in the format. Foster formed Iconic Management and signed the then-teen singer shortly before she released her first single, “Love Me Like You Mean It,” in 2014. That debut song went to No. 1 at country radio, as did her next two singles, “Dibs” and “Peter Pan.” The first release from her recent sophomore album, “Legends,” became her third song to reach the top in late February.
Her second album, “Unapologetically,” was released in November and is more pop-leaning. ” I tell everyone: I grew up on a farm in east Tennessee, and my first concert was Britney Spears,” Ballerini told Variety. “That’s my music, and that’s me. I feel like country artists are known for being honest and truthful. And I just feel like it’s my job as a country artist now to be honest about the fact that I love pop music and I love rap music and I love rock music, and I think it’s okay if all that bleeds into my music as influences. It’ll always be rooted in songwriting, and it’ll always be rooted in the Southern lifestyle that I grew up in. But, yes, this record is on that line, because I just don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.”
Ballerini’s split from Foster comes as a surprise, as the two recently returned from spending three weeks overseas promoting the new album.