Carly Pearce Calls Kenny Chesney the Touring ‘King of Country Music’

Carly Pearce had an unforgettable 2021, including releasing both her CMA Awards-nominated EP, 29, her 15-track 29: Written in Stone, and touring with Lady A on their What a Song Can Do Tour, but 2022 might be even better. The Kentucky native, whose “Never Wanted to Be That Girl” duet with  Ashley McBryde is soaring up the charts, will hit the road with Kenny Chesney on his Here and Now 2022 Tour, part of an all-star lineup that also includes Dan + Shay and Old Dominion

“I’ve loved Kenny Chesney forever, and he’s become a friend of mine over the last year,” Pearce said ahead of the 2021 CMA Awards. “He’s honestly been a mentor, and I’m so excited to get to watch his show every night, and hopefully learn something every night. I feel like he’s the King of Country Music for touring.”

The coveted tour spot is only part of what has been one of the biggest — and best — years of her life and career, ever since her Every Little Thing album was released in 2017. While her relatively brief foray into country music also included heartache, the 31-year-old feels nothing but gratitude for how her life and career has turned out so far.

“I think if you would have told me that this is going to be the trajectory in just a short year or so, I don’t know that I would have believed you,” Pearce reflects. “But I can just tell you that I’m the happiest that I’ve ever been, and just so thankful.”

“Next Girl,” the debut single from 29, landed in the Top 15 on the charts, and earned Pearce an important industry accolade as well. Written by Pearce, along with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, the feisty tune earned the writers an ASCAP Award, for Most-Performed Song of 2021. Pearce announced the good news on social media.

“I didn’t move to Nashville to be a songwriter,” Pearce tells American Songwriter, “I moved to Nashville to write songs for myself and be an artist. And I’m grateful to be able to do that. I’m grateful that people care about what I have to say.”

Pearce will perform “Never Wanted to Be That Girl” with McBryde during the live broadcast of the CMA Awards. The show will air on Wednesday, November 10, at 8:00 PM ET on ABC.

Pearce is currently headlining her own The 29 Tour. Find all of her upcoming shows at

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