If there was ever a bad time for Carly Pearce to take a fall, it was right before the CMA Awards. The Kentucky native was nominated for four trophies, and was performing her No. 1 duet, “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” during the live broadcast, so to have a major accident on Halloween, resulting in damage to her face, was anything but ideal.
“I had a freak accident and fell on my face on concrete, and knocked half of my two front teeth out, and have shifted my whole jaw back and had to get a bunch of stitches inside my mouth,” Carly recalled on The Ty Bentli Show on Apple Music Country. “I looked mangled, and this was six days before I was supposed to perform for the CMA [Awards]. You can kind of see it on my lips still. And I debated whether or not to talk about it, but quite honestly, I’ve gotten some messages online of like, ‘Did you get your lips done?’ And it’s like, ‘No, you have no idea what has happened to me.’ It’s a wonder that I was able to do what I did and that I can sing. I kind of have a lisp also.
“So anyway, I was nervous and obviously I’m still I’m a little leery of what I look like and how I sound,” she continued. “But I think we all have things that happened to us. And this was a freak accident. It’s funny. I mean, when Carrie [Underwood] fell, I remember thinking like, ‘How do you just fall?’ And now I’m like, ‘Well, I know now.’ It’s just been a really interesting last few weeks.”
Carly wasn’t sure until a couple days before the CMA Awards if she was going to be able to perform, but that’s not all that went wrong. She also found out only a couple days before the November 11 show that her “I Hope You’re Happy Now” duet partner, Lee Brice, had COVID, later finding out that his replacement for the live show, Lady A’s Charles Kelley, also had to cancel his performance after someone in one of Lady A’s family’s tested positive for coronavirus as well.
“The morning that we were having our rehearsal, I got a call from my manager and they were like, ‘Lee has COVID,'” Carly recounted. “They reassured me immediately that they still wanted me to go be a part of the show. But I wrote this song as a duet. It was always meant to be a duet. And so the CMAs were actually like, ‘What do you think about us asking Charles Kelley?’ What’s so funny is he was actually one of the voices that we considered in the beginning to sing it with me. But ultimately we just chose Lee. And I was like ‘Wow, yeah. But can he learn it? And does he want to do it?'”
Ultimately, Carly still performed as part of the CMA Awards broadcast, although when Lady A canceled their scheduled performance, they had to reveal that Carly’s performance with Charles was taped ahead of time.
“They had to pre-tape certain things just for socially distance stuff, but I was just like, ‘Lord have mercy on my soul,'” Carly said. “I still made it to the CMAs … I would knock my teeth out again, if it meant that I got to hold a CMA Award that I’ve won.”
Carly and Lee won the CMA Award for Musical Event of the Year.