Carly Pearce & Ashley McBryde; Photo Courtesy of CMA
Carly Pearce & Ashley McBryde; Photo Courtesy of CMA

Carly Pearce & Ashley McBryde Give Live Debut Of “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” Duet At 2021 CMA Awards

Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde brought their duet to life during the 55th Annual CMA Awards on Wednesday evening (Nov. 10).

The female powerhouses teamed up for the live television debut of their vulnerable duet, “Never Wanted To Be That Girl,” which was the most added song at country radio upon its release.

Watch their performance below.

Pearce is nominated for 2 CMA Awards, including Album of the Year for 29 as well as Female Vocalist of the Year. While McBryde has 3 nods, including Female Vocalist Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Single Of The Year for “One Night Standards.”

Co-written by the duet partners alongside Shane McAnally, “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” appears on Pearce’s latest album, 29: Written In Stone.

“What’s interesting about this song is we could have gone to a place of blame on the others in the love triangle, but we turned it inward. It’s unique that two women who never meet are getting burned by the same man and having the exact same feelings. We intentionally kept the chorus the same to reflect that neither wanted to be in this position,” Pearce previously shared.

Ashley added, “so many of us know how it is when you go back and start putting all of those pieces together. That moment when you realize the gut punch of the situation. This song isn’t really about being the other woman or even being messed around on as much as it’s about these two people who are exhibiting behaviors they normally wouldn’t – checking text messages, making excuses for why their dates are only on Tuesdays – and realizing it’s all because of the same person.”

Earlier this month, Pearce and McBryde debuted the music video for the vulnerable track.

The Alexa Campbell-directed music video follows the parallel lives of Pearce and McBryde, who play the wife and the mistress of a no-good, cheating man. As they come to terms with the life that they’re living, both artists reflect on their past and how they ended up in this position – a place neither of them ever wanted to be.

The 55th Annual CMA Awards also featured performances from Luke Combs, Jimmie Allen, Gabby Barrett, Brothers Osborne, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Dan + Shay, Jennifer Hudson, Miranda Lambert, Old Dominion, Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton, Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban, and Zac Brown Band.

Additionally, the show included star-studded collaborations by Chris Young and Kane Brown, Mickey Guyton, Brittney Spencer and Madeline Edwards, Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood, Dierks Bentley, BRELAND and HARDY.

Country singers Trace Adkins, Ingrid Andress, Kelsea Ballerini, Deana Carter, Russell Dickerson, Florida Georgia Line, Alan Jackson, Lady A, Scotty McCreery, Darius Rucker, Lainey Wilson, and Trisha Yearwood were on hand to present during the ceremony.

Lauren Daigle, Faith Fennidy, Freddie Freeman, Amy Grant, Dulé Hill, Elle King, Zachary Levi, Hayley Orrantia, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, Susan Sarandon, Saycon Sengbloh and Kurt Warner also made special appearances throughout the broadcast.

Hosted by Luke Bryan, the 2021 CMA Awards broadcasted live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 8/7c on ABC.

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