Photo Credit: Allister Ann
LAS VEGAS, NV (March 7, 2022) — Carly Pearce went into the ACM Awards nominated for Female Artist, Album (29: WRITTEN IN STONE), Video and Music Event of the Year for both sides of the women wronged cheating song “Never Wanted To Be That Girl,” which teamed her with co-writer and fellow Female Artist nominee Ashley McBryde. Even before the show hit the air, Pearce and McBryde took home the Music Event trophy for a song that shows the two kinds of pain extramarital betrayal and callousness causes.
“Ashley knows how to bring real emotion to a song like this.” Pearce says of her co-writer. “Songs about cheating aren’t something you hear much anymore, but I don’t think it’s because it doesn’t happen. When Ashley and I sat down to write, we wanted to dig into something so classically country and really play to our roots. This is what happened, and people have been responding in such a way that it makes me believe there is a place in the world for real country.”
McBryde agrees. “Not everyone is brave enough to go straight into the raw parts in the writing room. When we were trying to decide what to write about, Carly’s like me: someone who wants to jump into the deep end. So we took ‘being the other woman,’ something that’s typically a little taboo, and turned it into a reflective moment, where two women are forced to face being someone they never intended. And, it doesn’t hurt that it’s a lot of fun to sing, too.”
With “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” on the cusp of Top 10, infidelity is finding its way to the top of the Country Songs charts. The duet gives two of Nashville’s most incendiary female vocalists a place to not only stretch out, but to explore the kind of dynamics that emerge from blending their powerful harmonies.
Last year, Pearce won both the ACM Music Event and Single of the Year for “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” her post-break-up duet with Lee Brice that also took the CMA Musical Event Award. The chart-topping 2X PLATINUM hitco-written with Luke Combs also tackled the complicated emotional realities of life, love and the way it all falls apart.
Pearce, whose 29: WRITTEN IN STONE traces the phases of a marriage’s end, putting oneself back together and ultimately emerging stronger, has been quick to bring the more complex life circumstances into her songs. Having left high school to play five-shows-a-day at Dollywood, her sense of what Country music is well-defined and striking a chord across the music business and the fans.
As the reigning CMA Awards Female Vocalist of the Year, Pearce is hoping to hear her name called in a category where she is nominated alongside McBryde, Gabby Barrett, Maren Morris and Miranda Lambert. She also finds herself in the Album of the Year category alongside Morgan Wallen’s DANGEROUS; THE DOUBLE ALBUM, Thomas Rhett’s COUNTRY AGAIN, Chris Young’s FAMOUS FRIENDS and Lambert/Jack Ingram/Jon Randall’s THE MARFA TAPES.
“Anyone who loves country music should tune-in,” Pearce suggests. “Seeing Dolly doing what she does best is always a great idea! Having already won an award with a friend like Ashley, it’s a good feeling going into the actual show. Here’s to all the women who’ve come before.”