Since his debut in 2011, with the release of his self-titled album, he has garnered a huge fan following among country music lovers. His most recognizable traits are his guitar skills and gritty voice. The thirty-something traces his roots back to Battle Creek as one of Michigan’s home grown sons.
Since his early years, Ballard had a keen interest in music. He would join in with his father whenever he belted out Elvis Presley songs. His early teenage fascination with baseball ended the day he bought his first guitar at the age of eighteen. With this began his musical journey, as he would lock himself up in the room practicing for hours at length. He proudly cites artists such as Howlin’ Wolf, Jerry Reed and Bob Seger as some of his biggest influences. In just a couple of months, Ballard hit the road over the weekends to play gigs around town. He also played off and on with numerous blues bands from his area. His musical junkets would often take him anywhere within a three hundred mile radius, including to country music’s hub Nashville.
Ballard’s big break came when he won the Michigan regional competition, Next Big Star, which was managed by famous country singer Kenny Chesney. It helped him in landing a Sony ATV publishing deal as well as a Reprise Records recording deal. Soon after that, he moved to Nashville in the spring of 2009.
There he collaborated on his debut studio album with producer Michael Know. His efforts produced his first charting single “Tell Me You Get Lonely” which was well received by critics, fans and country lovers. Within a year, another single “A Buncha Girls” announced the arrival of his self-titled debut album. It peaked in the Top 40 of the Top Country Albums chart in spring 2011. The Billboard’s Top Heatseekers chart ranked it number six upon release while the RIAA declared sales of over ten thousand copies.
In summer 2013, Ballard released the lead single “Helluva Life” for his latest and second album, Sunshine & Whiskey. The single was an instant hit as it topped the Country Airplay chart while securing a number eight spot on the Hot Country Songs as well as the Canadian Country chart. It was certified gold after it sold more than five hundred thousand copies.
Early in the following year, Ballard released the album worldwide. It debuted in the Top 40 on the Billboard 200 and peaked at number five on the Top Country Albums chart. It did exceptionally well in the sales department by selling around forty thousand copies. As spring came, the album’s titular single “Sunshine & Whiskey” also hit the shelves to top the Country Airplay chart once again. “Young & Crazy” is the latest single from the album and it too has charted well in North America.
According to Frankie Ballard, “the music is born on the road.” To follow his doctrine, he has already headlined quite a large number of country music events across the country. His current tour is called Sunshine & Whiskey. His stops include major venues such as Collier County Fairgrounds, Las Palmas Race Park, Humble Rodeo and the likes. All through the year, he will be co-headlining with renowned country music acts Florida Georgia Line, Keith Urban, Eric Church and the legend Merle Haggard. So grab Frankie Ballard tickets and enjoy his twist on the genre.