Photo Credit: Allister Ann
NASHVILLE, TN (September 9, 2021) – When Carly Pearce received her first CMA Award nominations for Song and Musical Event last September, it was a little girl’s dream come true for the full-grown woman who’d dedicated her life to Country music. In the midst of personal unravel, the songwriter/vocalist from Taylor Mill, Kentucky realized one of her ultimate dreams during the reveal on Good Morning America; ultimately taking home Musical Event with Lee Brice for the No. 1 duet she penned, “I Hope You’re Happy Now.”
One year later, Pearce wakes up dreaming again as she receives her first Female Vocalist of the Year and her first Album of the Year nomination for 29, the seven song collection that emerged from the collapse of her yearlong marriage. Written, recorded and released during the tumult, Pearce put her life, her truth, her pain into the songs – and created a real time document of one woman’s journey through the last place someone wants to be when they say “I Do.”
“When we started working on 29, I was trying to write my way through some of the greatest sadness and biggest disappointments of my life,” Pearce says of the deeply personal work. “I was writing to save my heart without even knowing it. My champion and longtime producer busbee had died; my marriage was over; my world was completely upended.”
“When I started writing, it was both to understand what was happening, and to go to the one thing that has never let me down: music. But in that, I found not only a kind of salvation, but a very clear sense of the woman and the artist I truly am. From the pain, the scraping away everything but the essence of who I really am, 29 emerged. To see it recognized like this, it blows me away. To be the only woman in the category, well, that speaks to the hunger people have for real life… even when it’s the tough stuff.”
From the throes of tumult, exhaustion and deep, soul-shaking disappointment, the honey-haired vocalist proved not only will the truth set you free, songs are the greatest form of resilience and strength in the storm. Asked by no less than Dolly Parton to become the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry this summer, the 16-year-old girl who moved to Pigeon Forge for six shows a day at the icon’s Dollywood theme park learned that fairy tale endings emerge from dark places.
“Last year when I saw my name on the card for Song of the Year, I thought my heart was going to explode,” she explains. “This year, it was even more intense. So many of the women I’ve loved – Patty Loveless, Dolly Parton, Trisha Yearwood, Alison Krauss, Faith Hill, Lee Ann Womack, Barbara Mandrell, Emmylou Harris, Loretta Lynn – have won Female Vocalist. To be in their company was a dream in some of my lowest moments. To be back here this year with so many incredible peers and vocalists makes me feel like people can hear the truth I try to carry in my voice.”
For Pearce, who also won the Academy of Country Music Awards Single and Music Event of the Year for “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” the response to her heart on her songs pure country also validates a return to her roots. With the teaser campaign for 29: WRITTEN IN STONE featuring two-time – and the first female — CMA Musician of the Year Jenee Fleenor, Pearce has found a new confidence in the music she was born to.
With “Dear Miss Loretta,” featuring Loveless, offering a sense of what’s to come from the 15-song 29: WRITTEN IN STONE on September 17 via Big Machine Records, Pearce doubles down on her real country truth-telling. With Ashley McBryde delivering the point/counterpoint of two women and one cad man “Never Wanted To Be That Girl,” Pearce’s Album of the Year nominee’s expansion not only dissects the human heart, it considers the healing that comes with time.