Carly Pearce Is 'Happier' and 'More Settled' After Whirlwind Year on the Road

Carly Pearce has had a whirlwind year, opening up for Blake Shelton, Thomas Rhett, Rascal Flatts and Luke Bryan, not to mention falling in love with her current boyfriend, Michael Ray. While the busyness of 2018 might leave some artists searching for stability, the 28-year-old insists she has never been more at peace with herself.

"There's a moment back in February that I started the Blake Shelton tour on the very first date, where the lights went out in that first arena in Tulsa, Oklahoma," Pearce told PopCulture.com. "I remember that moment and how I felt. And now looking back at this last year, it's insane to think about the emotions of the nerves and just the crazy whirlwind that that girl was on that night in Tulsa to now. I feel more myself. I feel happier. I feel more settled."

"I feel, just in every way that I know what I'm doing more now than ever," she added, "and have had the year of anybody's dreams to do this for a living, and honestly the year of anybody's dreams just as a girl."

Pearce crossed a huge item off of her bucket list recently, when she appeared on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, even though she was surprised that she was well-known enough to be invited to perform.

"The word famous is funny to me," Pearce told PopCulture.com. "I have watched the Macy's Day Parade since I was a little girl, and always had it on my bucket list of things that I would love to be a part of. I can't believe I get to do it. It's one of those milestones that I think your family also thinks is really, really cool, and they associate as being something that just is a big deal."

The Kentucky native performed her current hit, "Closer to You," which is the debut single from her upcoming new album.

"I am really excited about this song," said Pearce. "I feel like it's going to show a side of my personality that a lot of fans have not gotten to see. It's been quite a crazy couple of years for me, both personally and professionally. I feel an evolution in every way, and this song is exactly where I am in my life right now, which is totally in love, and I think so many people can relate to that feeling of just missing somebody, and wanting to be close to them."

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Pearce recently announced a co-headlining The Way Back Tour, which will kick off on Jan. 24 in Cleveland, Ohio. Find dates at CarlyPearce.com.

Photo Credit: Getty images/Allen Berezovsky