Carly Pearce Reflects on Significance of Grand Ole Opry

Carly Pearce might have met her new boyfriend, Michael Ray, at the Nashville Palace, but her favorite place in Music City is the Grand Ole Opry. The "Hide the Wine" singer, who just celebrated her 50th performance at the Opry, is opening up about how much the historic venue means to her.

"When I was just working in Nashville trying to figure it out, I cold emailed Pete Fisher, who's now with the ACMs and he was the manager of the Opry at the time," Pearce recalls. "And we became friends and he became a mentor, and over the next two years he really mentored me and told me I wasn't ready yet but he saw something in me."

In 2015, Pearce received her first invitation to perform at the Opry, even before her debut "Every Little Thing" single, which is the title track of her freshman album, was released.

"The Opry was one of the very first places to really give me a break and they took a gamble on me when I didn't have anything going on," Pearce says. "I think that they knew the way that I feel, like people like Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood have held it so precious and made it such a part of their brand, I wanted to do that. And I just wanted to very much make it one of my missions in the genre to be one of the people that you think of and really do consider them family."

Long before Pearce moved to Nashville, the Kentucky native revered the Grand Ole Opry, dreaming of one day standing in the coveted circle.

"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 and Ray just revealed on social media that they are dating, with Pearce posting a picture of the pair, along with the caption, "And then one random night at the Nashville Palace changed everything."

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(Photo: Instagram/michaelraymusic)
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Pearce's next performance at the Grand Ole Opry is on July 31. See a list of all of her upcoming shows at CarlyPearce.com.

Photo Credit: Getty images/Mat Hayward