Carly Pearce: 11 Things To Know About the Country Music Star

Happy birthday, Carly Pearce! The singer turns 34 on April 24, and we are celebrating her big day with 11 fun facts about one of country music’s biggest reigning hitmakers.

1. Pearce isn’t her last name.

Pearce’s real name is Carly Cristyne Slusser. She chose Pearce as her stage name, after her grandparents, since it was from them that she developed her love of country music. She later got a tattoo in their honor as well.

“All they wanted to do was to see my career take off,” Pearce told Fox News. “I wanted to take the Pearce name and keep it going and honor them.”

2. She dropped out of high school to work at Dollywood.

Pearce left high school, and her hometown of Taylor Mill, Kentucky, to work at Dollywood when she was just 16. Pearce earned a spot in the popular Country Crossroads show, performing five days a week, sometimes up to six shows a day. Pearce’s mother, Jackie, moved to Pigeon Forge, where Dollywood is, with her talented daughter, using Pearce’s paycheck to pay for an apartment that the two shared.

“It put me on the map more than things I’ve done just by myself,” Pearce told Wide Open Country. “It was great exposure, but also a great kick in the butt. Like, this is the big leagues.”

Photo Credit: Carly Pearce/Facebook

3. She was an Airbnb cleaner when she moved to Nashville.

Pearce ultimately knew she had the best chance of becoming a singer if she moved to Nashville, so she packed up her bags when she was just 19, this time by herself, to pursue music.

“I think the nastiest, worst job I ever had was cleaning Airbnbs,” Pearce told Fox News. “You’re cleaning toilets and cleaning bed sheets, and it’s not glamorous, but I did it…so that I could still pursue music and write songs and play gigs, but it was nasty!”

4. She once performed at a prison for boys.

Pearce joined a bluegrass group when she was young, and played at several interesting places, including at a prison for boys.

“I got asked to join a bluegrass group at [age] 11,” Pearce told Billboard. “Bluegrass musicians are unbelievable, so that’s how I learned to sing harmony. I played an all-boys prison, every tent revival you could think of, churches, bars – they would sneak me in.”

5. Her boyfriend is in her band.

After splitting from Michael Ray in 2020, she dated former professional baseball player Riley King for more than two years, announcing their split in June of 2023. In the fall of 2023, Pearce confirmed she was dating her drummer, BC Taylor

“I certainly never thought I would find myself in this situation,” Pearce told People, adding that they quietly started dating over the summer, “But it just happened. I’m happy. It’s good.”

Photo Credit: Carly Pearce / Instagram


6. She once did a duet with the Josh Abbott Band.

In 2016, before Pearce had a record deal, she sang a duet, “Wasn’t That Drunk,” with the Josh Abbott Band. The song was from the group’s fourth studio album, Front Row Seat, and was their only song to crack the Top 40 on the country charts.

“The minute I got it, I listened to it like six times in a row and I thought ‘This is it, this is a smash. We just gotta get the right girl on it,'” Abbott told Rolling Stone.

7. She counts Lindsay Ell and Kelsea Ballerini among her closest friends.

Pearce might be competing with other female artists for a position on the charts, but in real life, she counts some of them among her closest friends, especially Lindsay Ell and Kelsea Ballerini.

“To have artist friends who you can really, really relate to in this crazy life that we live is so special,” Pearce previously shared with her record label. “We always say that you don’t really understand what it’s like to be an artist except if you are an artist. And so, I love being able to text those girls if I need advice, text those girls if I want to bounce a song off of them, or if I just wanna drink some wine.”

8. Her favorite food is Brussels sprouts.

While Pearce does admit to having a weakness for junk food, especially chips and guacamole — or really anything salty — she counts Brussels sprouts as her top food to eat.

“Brussels sprouts are my favorite food ever!” she said (via “I order them everywhere I go out to dinner and cook them almost every night.”

9. She used to hate wine.

By now, everyone knows that Peace loves a good glass of wine, but that wasn’t always the case. In fact, when she first was old enough to drink, she hated wine — a lot.

“My mom was a huge wine drinker,” Pearce told Wine Spectator. “When I came of age, I actually hated it and didn’t understand why she loved it so much. I think it was a couple years into being of age, I found a strong liking [of] red wine, and it has been my drink of choice since I was probably 23 years old.”

10. She loves to grocery shop.

With several hit songs to her credit, Pearce could likely afford to have someone go grocery shopping for her, or at the very least use a grocery delivery service, but she actually likes to walk through the aisles and pick out items for herself.

“Grocery shopping is my favorite activity when I get off the road,” she Pearce told Food & Wine. “It’s the first thing I do when I get home. I go to Publix in Nashville. It’s always the best.”

11. She fulfilled a childhood dream when she became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2021.

Of all of the dreams Pearce had for her career, her biggest one wasn’t about album sales, radio singles or venue sizes. Instead, her biggest dream was to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry, something she achieved in 2021, when she was inducted by Trisha Yearwood.

“There are a lot of things that I could say, and I’ve tried to think of how to sum up what this means to me,” Pearce said during her induction ceremony. “The best way to describe it is, when I was a little girl, I dreamt of country music, and I dreamt of singing on this stage. And my grandma, my Mamaw and my Papaw Pearce, I always told them that if I made it here, they would be front row. And they didn’t get to see that happen, but I really do genuinely feel like they’re here with me tonight. And I know that it was my dream as much as it was theirs.”

Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Grand Ole Opry / Chris Hollo