The Tortuga Music Festival has added rising country singer Kelsea Ballerini, Sugarland’s Kristian Bush and indie-soul group St. Paul & the Broken Bones to the list of performers headed to Fort Lauderdale beach April 15-17.
The new acts announced Tuesday morning will join a lineup topped by country stars Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw and Dierks Bentley. Other performers just added to the bill include honky-tonker Jon Pardi and the country-R&B duo Muddy Magnolias.
The 22-year-old, Tennessee-born Ballerini recently received two nominations from the Academy of Country Music, which put her in the running for New Female Vocalist and Female Vocalist of the Year awards. Her 2015 included the release of her first singles, "Love Me Like You Mean It" and “Dibs,” both of which landed in the top 20 on the Billboard country singles chart. Last month she debuted a new single, the rock-flavored “XO,” on “Late Night With Seth Meyers,” and just entertained at the NHL All-Star Game in Nashville.
Perhaps the most important arena in which Ballerini has appeared is Taylor Swift’s Instagram: The two have been “besties” since Swift discovered Ballerini’s music on an EP, long before the 2015 release of her debut album, “The First Time.” Ballerini seems to share her mentor’s pop sensibilities, spiking her sets with snippets of songs from Rihanna, Britney Spears, Destiny's Child and the Backstreet Boys.
Tortuga 2016 will include two other young female singers who have received special attention since they were named to the lineup: The bluesy Elle King is nominated for two Grammy Awards for her cheeky pop-radio staple “Ex’s and Oh’s” (Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song, a writing award), and Cam is nominated for the Best Country Solo Performance award for her platinum-selling single “Burning House.”
Also on the Tortuga bill this year are platinum-seller Sam Hunt, Thomas Rhett, Billy Currington, Kip Moore, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Randy Houser, Joe Nichols, Chris Janson, A Thousand Horses, JJ Grey & Mofro, Chase Bryant, Old Dominion, LANco, Waterloo Revival, Native Run, Walker County, Tucker Beathard, Old Southern Moonshine Revival, Ryan Hurd, Courtney Cole, Drew Baldridge and iHeartRadio personality Bobby Bones and his comedy band the Raging Idiots.
The fourth annual festival has been expanded to three days after 2015’s sold-out event drew more than 75,000 music fans. The environment-conscious festival has contributed more than $250,000 toward ocean conservation organizations in three years.
Three-day, general-admission passes are $199 at TortugaMusicFestival.com, with VIP access starting at $899.