Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde marked a major milestone at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday evening (February 5), making history with their award win. The two powerhouse singer-songwriters won in the Best Country Duo/Group Performance category for their smash-hit heartbreak ballad, “Never Wanted To Be That Girl,” and it was the first time that two women have been the winners of the category, they noted in an interview after the emotional victory.
“I did not expect this,” Pearce, a first-time Grammy Award nominee, said as she and McBryde accepted the prestigious award. “I’m outta breath. …I was workin’ on a record and I’ve known Ashley for a long time, and I just wanted to sing a song with her. And we wrote this song, and it has just transcended so many of my wildest dreams. Real music, real country music. …Holy moly! This is my first nomination, so I was NOT expecting this!”
McBryde continued, noting that the Grammy nod was Pearce’s first, and the single was McBryde’s first No. 1 song on country radio. She said that “we’ve performed the song so many times on stage together. It’s been so nice for our friendship. We did it together.”
Pearce gushed, “we won a Grammy!,” at the end of the onstage acceptance speech, and McBryde exclaimed, “holy s***!” Watch the unforgettable moment the two country artists shared here.
“Well, we just learned that this is the first time that all females have won this award in this particular category, so it just feels… You know, I always loved Ashley‘s music, and just was a fan and asked her if she’d write a song with me,” Pearce said after the Grammy win, per her record label. “So, to see this song do what it’s done over the last year and a half for us, and just continue to show the girls that are coming up behind us that you can write your truth and you can do everything that you want in this business, I feel very, very lucky, and to do it with somebody that I respect so much as an artist and as a person.
“I still can’t believe I’m here, so I’m having a bit of an out of body experience,” Pearce said. “Country music is my whole heart, and I feel so lucky that I get to be here and to get to be one of the people that represent our genre. And also to see a song like this one – it’s about real life and about some uncomfortable situations – to see it win is a real big testament to three chords and the truth. Let’s go.”
“Never Wanted To Be That Girl” was one of 15 tracks on 29: Written in Stone, Pearce’s album that made its debut in September 2021. The project also included “Diamondback,” “What He Didn’t Do,” “Dear Miss Loretta” — a tribute to Loretta Lynn, featuring fellow Kentucky-born artist Patty Loveless — “Next Girl” and other fan-favorites. Pearce has recently confirmed that she’s working on her next record, and as her 29 era comes to an end, she announced that she’ll release a live album, 29: Written In Stone (Live From Music City), on March 24. Ahead of the project’s release, Pearce already shared two tracks: “What He Didn’t Do,” and “Never Wanted To Be That Girl.” Listen to Pearce’s live rendition with McBryde here: