Carly Pearce has emerged as a rising star in the world of country music, captivating audiences with her soulful voice, heartfelt lyrics, and a journey that embodies the resilience and determination often associated with the genre. Born Carly Cristyne Slusser on April 24, 1990, Pearce’s path to success has been marked by hard work, setbacks, and a relentless pursuit of her dreams.
Carly Pearce’s musical journey began in her teenage years, as she started performing on bluegrass albums in the 2000s. Her early exposure to the world of music laid the foundation for her future career in the country music industry. At the age of 19, she took a leap of faith and moved to Nashville, Tennessee, the heart of country music.
Her early years in Nashville were far from glamorous, resembling a roller coaster ride of highs and lows. Pearce signed a developmental deal with Sony Music Nashville in 2012, but her dreams faced a major setback when her producer was fired from the label. With that change, Pearce lost her deal with Sony, a crushing blow for an aspiring artist.
However, Carly Pearce’s determination and unwavering passion for music kept her in the game. In a 2017 interview, she revealed the challenges she faced during this time, admitting that there were moments when she wanted to quit music. Her perseverance shone through as she took on part-time jobs to make ends meet, including cleaning Airbnb rentals. These difficult times only fueled her determination to succeed.
Pearce’s career took a turn when she began networking with fellow performers and industry executives. Her encounter with Pete Fisher, the vice president and general manager of the Grand Ole Opry, proved to be a pivotal moment. Fisher provided Pearce with the opportunity to perform at the Grand Ole Opry in 2015, even before she had a recording contract. This exposure led to her meeting record producer Busbee, who recognized her musical talent and potential.
In 2015, Busbee signed Carly Pearce to a developing artist deal, setting her on the path to stardom. Her collaboration with the country group Josh Abbott Band on the track “Wasn’t That Drunk” in 2016 introduced her to a wider audience and helped her gain recognition on country radio stations. She even made television appearances, including a performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
Despite her growing recognition, Carly Pearce faced rejection from multiple Nashville record labels in 2016. Industry professionals advised her to consider moving back home or pursuing other interests. However, her determination to continue her musical journey never wavered.
In 2017, Pearce released “Every Little Thing” independently, a track co-written by her. The song gained significant airplay on Sirius XM’s The Highway channel, propelling her to new heights in her career. “Every Little Thing” became a chart-topping hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Country Airplay chart and number five on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. It also received a gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America.
Buoyed by the success of her hit single, Carly Pearce released her debut studio album, “Every Little Thing,” later that year. The album received critical acclaim for its polished professionalism, even as it marked a departure from her earlier bluegrass musical style. Critics drew comparisons between her vocals and those of artists like Alison Krauss and Trisha Yearwood, acknowledging her ability to bridge the gap between tradition and contemporary country music.
Carly Pearce’s journey continued with subsequent hits like “Hide the Wine” and “Closer to You.” In 2019, she released the duet “I Hope You’re Happy Now” with country artist Lee Brice, which became her second number one hit on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.
Her self-titled second studio album, released in 2020, showcased her growth as an artist and marked a bittersweet moment as it was the final production project of Busbee before his passing in 2019. The album debuted at number six on the Top Country Albums list and received praise for its honest exploration of life’s complexities.
Despite facing personal challenges, Carly Pearce continued to create music that resonates with her audience. Her 2021 EP, “29,” delved into the hardships she endured during her twenty-ninth year, including her divorce from singer Michael Ray and the loss of her producer, Busbee. The EP received critical acclaim for its emotional depth and musical progression.
In 2021, Carly Pearce became a cast member of the Grand Ole Opry, a significant honor in the country music world. She released her third studio album, “29: Written in Stone,” in September 2021, continuing her exploration of traditional country sounds. The album received positive reviews from critics and spawned hits like “Never Wanted to Be That Girl,” a duet with Ashley McBryde.
Carly Pearce’s remarkable journey in country music reached a pinnacle when her single “What He Didn’t Do” topped the country radio charts, making her the first woman in 80 weeks to achieve this feat with a solo track. In early 2023, she won her first Grammy Award for her performance on “Never Wanted to Be That Girl.”
As she continues to break barriers and touch hearts with her music, Carly Pearce’s legacy in country music is undoubtedly one of perseverance, passion, and an unwavering commitment to her craft. Her live album, “29: Written in Stone (Live from Music City),” released in March 2023, serves as a testament to her enduring talent and the indomitable spirit that drives her musical journey. Carly Pearce has truly become a shining star in the world of country music, and her future in the industry looks brighter than ever.