Photo Credit: Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for ACM

NASHVILLE, TN (April 16, 2021) – CARLY PEARCE and LEE BRICE knew that rarely does the CMA Awards Musical Event take the ACM Awards matching honor so when the pair headed into their rehearsal last night, they were “just happy to be nominated.”

People magazine’s Topher Gauk-Roger interrupted his interview to congratulate them with the Music Event trophy for “I Hope You’re Happy Now.” The surprised pair stopped cold in their tracks – watch reaction. Striking a chord across the world of Country music fans, industry and people who look for real life in their music, the song introspectively details erosion of a relationship over time and finding out what you thought you wanted doesn’t always provide the comfort you thought has.

“I’m over the moon on winning this award but especially happy for Carly,” says Lee of their PLATINUM certified No. 1 collaboration, which they perform live on Sunday’s (4/18) telecast. “This is her story, her song and I am honored to be a part of it. Seeing this from the very beginning from her prospective to now winning awards is full circle — and humbling but rewarding.”

Carly, the young woman who left high school to start playing five shows a day at Dollywood, turned her love of Country and Bluegrass music into a focused vision. Spinning her own life into songs, Carly realized the unspoken parts of other people’s lives too. Carly enlisted Luke Combs, Randy Montana and Jonathan Singleton for the surging lyrical narrative the offers remorse in reflection.

“Everyone at some point in their life has found themselves caught in a relationship where you love the other person so much, yet over time, it all falls apart,” explains Carly. “When we all started talking about our lives and our journeys, every one of us had been in this position – and it’s the worst feeling. You get to a point where you have to do something, and even that doesn’t really make things better, it just creates a hole where your heart used to be.

“To see people respond to ‘I Hope You’re Happy Now’ the way that they have has been is incredibly affirming, because I think it makes you – wherever you are in your life – feel less alone. And having Lee’s voice, which is a bit of hurricane the way he comes in, it really brings home how hard it is for both people in these kinds of situations.”

Having been nominated for Song of the Year at the 2020 CMA Awards, “I Hope You’re Happy Now” is up for Single of the Year at this weekend’s ACM Awards. The power ballad faces off against a precedent-setting all-female category that includes Miranda Lambert’s “Bluebird,” Gabby Barrett’s “I Hope,” Ingrid Andress’ “More Hearts Than Mine” and Maren Morris’ “The Bones.”

“It has been such an incredible year for women in country music,” says the first-time ACM Female Artist nominee, “and the Academy of Country Music really showed that with this year’s nominees. Having grown up on so many dynamic, awesome women, I am so proud to be part of this year’s group of incredible female artists who inspire me so much and support each other when the going gets tough.”