When Carly Pearce asked Lee Brice to sing with her on "I Hope You're Happy Now," Brice instantly fell in love with the song. But even before he heard it, Brice had a strong hunch he would sing on tune, regardless of what it sounded like, based purely on his feelings for Pearce.
"When my label called, they said, 'Would you be up for doing a duet with Carly?'" Brice recalled to CMT's Cody Alan. "I said, 'Yeah! I love her as a person. I love her as an artist. I love her voice. Could you send me the song?' When they sent me the song, I just heard classic '90's duet, and it lit a fire. I knew that big note was in there, so like me being able to really sing, sing… was a big turn on for me. This song is up there, and I was really able to sing for it."
Brice might have already loved Pearce, but his feelings only grew as they spent time together, first working on and then promoting the Top 20 single.
"I didn't know her all that well," Brice admitted. "We had hung and we had done some shows together. I knew she was great, but when I got to know her through the process of that song, doing the video, and doing some interviews with her – I figured out how genuine she is. That was a huge deal to me. I saw how raw and real she is. It's one of my favorite things about her. You get what you see."
Pearce wrote the song with Luke Combs, Randy Montana and Jonathan Singleton, about the man Pearce left when she realized she had feelings for her now-husband, Michael Ray. Brice knew right away he wanted to sing on it with her, even if their method of recording it was slightly unconventional.
"It was written so well. And I'm a songwriter so I'm kind of hard on songs, but I was like, 'Man this thing is really written to the wall,'" Brice told PopCulture.com. "So I said, 'Look, I'm on the road. I'm gonna have to do some singing out here if you want me to do it.' And they were cool with it, so I sent them a vocal and that's what you hear on the radio right now."
Photo Credit: Courtesy of BMLG / John Shearer