Carly Pearce Explains Allure of the Grand Ole Opry

Carly Pearce has played in big venues all over the country, thanks in part to her previous role opening for Blake Shelton on his Country Music Freaks Tour. But although she's getting used to playing before thousands and thousands of adoring fans, the Kentucky native says her favorite place to play is still, and likely always will be, the Grand Ole Opry.

"Ever since I was a little girl, I'm talking four, five, six years old, I've talked about wanting to sing at the Opry," says Pearce. "My grandparents always had books about the Opry and things like that so I was exposed to it very young and understood that it was kind of the deal for country music and the most precious place that you could ever step foot in and sing at as an artist. And that was just the ultimate bucket list moment for me to sing on the Opry."

Pearce has played the Opry more than 50 times, as part of a whirlwind couple years, which began with the release of "Every Little Thing," already surpassing the dreams both Pearce and her parents had.

"All they do is cry when they talk to me," Pearce recently told PopCulture.com. "This is all I've ever wanted, but times it by two for them. I'm their only child. They devoted every thing to me being able to chase this dream and they were sitting, watching it live as I was and there's a little text chain between us and couple members of my family, just freaking out, genuine. They've never wanted anything else for me."

Pearce was nominated for her first-ever ACM Award earlier this year, for New Female Vocalist. Although the award ultimately went to Lauren Alaina, the "Hide the Wine" singer says the nomination was all the validation she needed.

"As soon as it happened I was on a flight and I screamed really loud," Pearce recalled. "And it's kind of like that moment that you try to let sink in, that it's something that you've dreamt of forever. I sat on my couch and watched the ACMs for so long wondering what it would be like to actually have a nomination. To have the year that I've already had and just kind of put that on top of it is just insane to me. And just to be recognized by the ACMs as somebody who is worthy of that is really special."

Pearce will spend the remainder of 2018 opening for Thomas Rhett, Luke Bryan and Rascal Flatts. Find dates on her website.

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Photo Credit: Instagram/carlypearce