Carly Pearce Reached Childhood Dream By CMA Winning Female Vocalist of the Year

Carly Pearce Reached Childhood Dream By CMA Winning Female Vocalist of the Year
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 10: Carly Pearce attends the 55th annual Country Music Association awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 10, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

When Carly Pearce’s name was called as the winner of the Female Vocalist of the Year honor at the CMA awards, happy tears and gratitude followed. Upon hearing her name, Pearce looked visibly shocked and almost fell to her knees as she walked onstage. 

When she was handed her award, the tears flowed even harder as she stated, “I didn’t think this was going to happen.” As Pearce gathered her thoughts, her fellow nominee Ashley McBryde took to the stage to offer some comedic relief and heartfelt words, saying, “What she meant to say was… there’s a lot of love, respect and admiration in this category.” 

Pearce then stepped to the microphone, thanking God, her record label and her team and collaborators. 

“I’ve had just a crazy year and I just want you to know that this means everything to me,” she continued. “Country music saved me at a time that I needed it, and I just wanted you to know that this is all I’ve ever wanted in the entire world and I just hope you know that country music is all I love, so thank you so much.” 

The shock and excitement continued for Pearce in the backstage pressroom, as she reflected on the almost out-of-body moment of winning the award.

“Honestly, I think I blacked out,” Pearce recalled backstage. “I saw Amy Grant’s mouth… and I sort of knew what she said… and I started moving, but it didn’t register. Even standing there, I don’t think I took it all in, or really believed this was happening. From where I was a year ago to this moment? How do you measure that, or take it in?”

Pearce also stressed how important the award is to her, explaining that winning the honor has been a dream of hers ever since she watched the awards show as a child. Pearce reached that dream by performing at Dollywood at a young age and eventually moving up through the country music ranks. 

“And you have to know and understand how badly I wanted to win Female Vocalist of the Year as a little girl,” she shared. “I would watch the CMA Awards, see all the women who’d come before and dream one day I might be up there, too. But when it happens? When you’re in the moment? Nothing can prepare you for that, and it’s even more powerful, more exciting than anything I’ve ever felt in my life.”

Pearce was nominated in the Female Vocalist of the Year category alongside McBryde, Miranda Lambert, Gabby Barrett and Maren Morris. She was also nominated for Album of the Year for her latest project, 29, an award that was won by Chris Stapleton’s Starting Over.