Rolling Stone recognizes UK alumna


Hannah Ellis

Allie King

On June 15, Rolling Stone released an article  naming UK alumna Hannah Ellis as one of its “10 New Country Artists You Need To Know.”

“I was so honored to be included in a magazine that I have grown up admiring,” Ellis said.

Ellis is from Campbellsville, Kentucky, and attended the University of Kentucky.

“I graduated from UK with a degree in Integrated Strategic Communications which has helped me to navigate my career as an artist from a marketing and PR standpoint,” Ellis said.

Growing up, Ellis took many opportunities to be on stage: church, school functions and small-town competitions. She performed at the National FFA Convention when she was in high school.

Although Ellis loved singing and performing from the start of her career, she soon learned that she loved songwriting, too. In October of 2015, Janine Appleton of Word Country gave Ellis her first publishing deal.

In early November of 2015, Ellis’ cousin, Officer Daniel N. Ellis, was shot and killed while working. This became the inspiration for Ellis’ first big hit song, “Officer Down.”

Due to the fame created by the song “Officer Down,” Ellis began working on her own self-titled extended play record, featuring five new songs.

Ellis’ website describes her music as “honest music that matters.”

“I’ve always loved country music, but tend to gravitate towards less-recent songs. However, Hannah’s music has such a unique style, and I can’t resist supporting a fellow Wildcat,” said Clare Egan, a third-year journalism student at the University of Kentucky.

Ellis traveled the United States to perform “Officer Down.” She has also performed at the CMA Fest in Nashville, Tennessee, opened for Lee Brice, Jake Owen and Brett Eldredge and performed at “Celebrate Success” shows at schools all around Kentucky. Ellis has also been the headliner for the Virginia FFA Convention.

Ellis was also a part of the CMT Next Women of Country Class of 2018, alongside Ashley McBryde, Abby Anderson and other female country singers. She was a contestant on Season 8 of The Voice and won the University Idol competition at the University of Kentucky. She has had songs featured on Nickelodeon and MTV’s hit TV show, Teen Wolf.  

The article posted by Rolling Stone brought Hannah Ellis to the attention of people who didn’t know her before.

“Prior to this article, I had never heard of Hannah Ellis. After reading this article and listening to more of her songs, I can say I am definitely a fan. I think she could be one of the next big country stars. How cool would it be to have her representing UK?” said Hayden Mitzlaff, a third-year ISC student at the University of Kentucky.

Rolling Stone described Ellis’ music  as “forward-thinking country-pop delivered by a songwriter unafraid to draw from today’s musical trends.” They also declare her as a need-to-know for fans of Jillian Jacqueline and Maren Morris.

“I think she definitely is for fans of Maren Morris or other artists that are similar. She’s also perfect for people who need a good love song. I definitely will listen to her in the future if she puts more out there,” said Abbey Templeman, a third-year fashion merchandising student at the University of Kentucky.

Ellis released her single “Home and a Hometown” on July 13.  A music video for the new song will be released in the next few weeks. Fans can find her music and watch her new music video for “ILYSoWhat” on her website.