By Annie Reuter
Frankie Ballard is still riding high from his first No. 1 hit, “Helluva Life.” We caught up with the singer on the ACM Awards red carpet, where he filled us in on how much his life has changed since his single reached the top of the charts — and what he did to celebrate.
“I felt like a kid again when I found out [‘Helluva Life’] was actually going to go No. 1,” Ballard told Radio.com. “You flash back to those dreams of playing music for a living or being onstage or playing guitar in front of people. I ran through the streets and prayed. ‘Thank you Lord for allowing this to happen for me.’ I feel very blessed.”
“I feel like the day we put that song out my life has changed every day since,” he continued, “mostly because the song reached people, and that’s the coolest thing about all of this for me. If that gave one person a little bit of hope to keep on trying to do whatever they’re trying to do, or put one foot in front of the other, appreciate the small things in life, if it did that for somebody else, that’s what making music is all about.”
So how did Ballard celebrate? He splurged on a Manuel suit, tailored by the same man who created so many famous country outfits, including Johnny Cash‘s all-black suits and Elvis Presley‘s signature gold lamé suit.
“I had it made because I wanted to do something to commemorate having my first-ever No. 1 song, treat myself a little bit,” he said. “I always wanted one of these. It’s a Native American theme. It has a big chief on the back and I thought, ‘Where are you going to wear this?’ Las Vegas was the first thing that came to mind.”
This week, Ballard released the followup to his No. 1 hit. The new single “Sunshine & Whiskey” is also his debut album’s title track, and Ballard said it’s one of those songs that helped him find the sound he was looking for on the record as a whole.