Today our spotlight falls on an artist who was discovered in 2008 as part of the Next Big Star competition, which was held to find opening acts for Kenny Chesney's Poets and Pirates tour. After winning, our artist opened for Chesney across his home state.

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Born and raised in Battle Creek, Michigan, Frankie Ballard's early dreams were not of becoming a country music superstar, but instead, he wanted to be a star on the baseball diamond. After high school, Frankie enrolled in Mott Community College where he played at such a high level, he was offered a baseball scholarship to Western Michigan University. When his baseball dreams didn't pan out after college, he fell back on his second love, music.

Ballard always felt a connection to music, during his time at WMU his interest turned into a passion. He began studying guitarists, locking himself in practice rooms and practicing note after note until he had songs down perfectly. He began playing open mic night's around the campus, and ended up joining a band that needed a drummer. By the time he graduated, he had his own band, playing more than 200 shows a year and making monthly treks to Nashville to work on his songwriting and playing at any club that would let him. He developed a love of playing live that still drives him today.

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In 2008 he heard of the Next Big Star competition being sponsored by BNA Records to find local opening acts for Kenny Chesney's 2008 Poets and Pirates tour. Ballard impressed the judges and ended up being the opening act on three Michigan shows. From there he signed with Reprise Records Nashville in 2010, landing two top-30 singles from his self-titled, 2011 debut album.

After the limited success of his debut album, Ballard moved to Warner Bros. Records in 2013, releasing the album Sunshine and Whiskey the same year. The album featured three straight #1 singles (the title track, "Helluva Life" and "Young & Crazy". Frankie released his third album, El Rio in 2016, meeting with limited success. The album features the top-20 hit "It All Started With A Beer", but a second single, "Cigarette" failed to crack the top-50. The third single from El Rio is in our spotlight today. Frankie Ballard and a cover of the Bob Seger classic "You'll Accomp'ny Me" is today's Catch of the Day, new music you haven't heard, but you'll want to hear it again.

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