Carly Pearce Says Country Music 'Saved My Soul' in 2020

Carly Pearce experienced a year of change in 2020, filing for divorce from husband Michael Ray in June and releasing her new single, "Next Girl," in September. She also received multiple CMA Awards nominations at the upcoming ceremony, and she recently reflected on just how much country music means to her.

"2020’s been interesting, but I think that there are beautiful moments," Pearce told her record label. "And for me, something that’s been a beautiful constant thing for me during this hard year has been music. It’s been country music and getting to create country music and then to be recognized in such a huge way. I love country music and it has saved my soul, and [the CMA Awards] is just another way that it continues to save me and make me realize who I’m supposed to be and what I want to do in life."

The 30-year-old is nominated for four CMA Awards this year, including Song of the Year, which honors the songwriters for her Lee Brice duet "I Hope You're Happy Now."

"That one means extra," Pearce gushed about her Song of the Year nomination. "That’s on another level. You realize how important songs are when you do this and you realize how many great songs happen. And to think that I was recognized as a songwriter, solely, on something that was so special and so personal to me, that is very, very special to me because it shows something outside of just Carly Pearce."

The Kentucky native will perform the song with Brice during the ceremony, and Pearce wrote on Instagram that "I truly have no words for this one. I have dreamt of singing one of my songs on the @cma awards since I was a little girl, and it’s finally happening."

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Three of Pearce's nominations are for "I Hope You're Happy Now," which Pearce wrote with Luke Combs, Randy Montana and Jonathan Singleton. The song was produced by the late producer busbee, who was a champion for Pearce early in her career.

"It’s the little gift that keeps giving," Pearce reflected of the song. "This song started from me asking Luke Combs at a radio show, 'Hey, will you write a song with me?' To then see Lee come and absolutely sing it into the rafters, to then all of this. Also, on a personal note, it is the last song that busbee, my producer, worked on before he got sick and passed away from brain cancer. And I could not think of a more special moment for the person that gave me so much."