Carly Pearce, Kelsea Ballerini; Photo Courtesy of Getty Images for CMT
Carly Pearce, Kelsea Ballerini; Photo Courtesy of Getty Images for CMT

Carly Pearce Reveals How She Supports Kelsea Ballerini Through Her Divorce

Cheers to women supporting women! Kelsea Ballerini has always been a fan girl. And she’s proved that time and time again as someone who establishes healthy and meaningful relationships with her fellow female cohorts, but even she sometimes needs a shoulder to lean on.

Luckily, Carly Pearce has stepped up as one of the people in Ballerini’s corner. And she’s there to support her whenever she needs.

Pearce has been a close friend to Ballerini for quite some time, despite once admitting in a previous interview that she had a negative initial reaction to the “Heartfirst” singer.

“I hated her,” Pearce admitted, at the time while speaking to Storme Warren on his podcast. “I literally looked at her and was like, ‘This girl is like five years younger than me. She’s so happy and not jaded and like, innocent.’”

These days, Pearce’s first impression of Ballerini couldn’t be far from the truth. And Pearce knows that full well. The two artists share similar personal journeys having both recently gone through public divorces. Pearce filed for divorce from fellow country singer, Michael Ray in June 2020.

“It was awful. It is awful,” she previously told PEOPLE. “But I think that what’s been awesome has been trusting myself and trusting what I have always known, which is God won’t take me through something that he won’t bring me out of or bring good from.”

More recently, Ballerini revealed her split from Morgan Evans following a nearly five-year marriage.

“Kelsea was there for me through mine. I’m there for her through hers,” Pearce told Entertainment Tonight on Wednesday night (October 12).

Pearce and Ballerini don’t just share a personal friendship, but they also have a working relationship.

Pearce contributed vocals on Ballerini’s current album, Subject to Change. And Pearce must be in pretty good graces with the 29-year-old Knoxville native as the album doesn’t mince words when it comes to opening up about the friendships that have failed her (but that is, of course, a different story).

For their collaboration, Ballerini enlisted Pearce and original American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson to duet on a fiery track called “You’re Drunk, Go Home.” The uptempo tune, which appears as the number 12 track on Subject to Change finds the trio turning a guy away because he is too drunk to converse with.

“Kelsea’s a really good friend of mine, and she texted me over the summer and, she said, ‘Hey, I have this song. Would you be interested in doing it with me?’ and I listened to it once, and was like, ‘I’m in,'” Pearce shared. “And Kelly just is the queen. So let’s go.”

“I wrote that song, and I was like, ‘Who are people that I can call personally, that I think I know them well enough to know that they have sass and wit that will add personality to this track?’” Ballerini told the outlet. “I called Carly first, and she signed on. And then I called Kelly, and they added magic. And just to have a song with my friends like that is so cool.”

Interestingly, Clarkson – like Pearce and Ballerini – too had to navigate her way through a divorce while remaining in the public eye. She ended her marriage to Brandon Blackstock in 2020 after seven years. So the “sass bomb” collaboration plays out like a triple threat!

Speaking of relationships, Pearce recently dropped a music video for her emotional new track, “What He Didn’t Do.” The visual walks viewers through her healing process as she closes out one chapter of her life to enter into a whole new era.

“This is my last single off of 29, and it really does feel like a rebirth,” Pearce said of the song that belongs on her 15-track album, 29: Written In Stone, which was released last year. “I kind of wanted to show the whole, just experience that you can come out the other side and fight it out and be better,”

Pearce was honored as one of the five 2022 CMT Artist of the Year honorees. She was recognized alongside fellow CMT Artists Of The Year honorees, including Cody Johnson, Kane Brown, Luke Combs, and Walker Hayes. Lainey Wilson was also honored as a CMT Breakout Artist Of The Year and Alan Jackson, who will receive the Artist of a Lifetime award.

“I’ve wanted to be an artist of the year for so long. So just to be able to be one and think about just everything that has happened to me in the last few years and it just feels like the perfect way to end the year,” Pearce shared.

2022 CMT Artists of the Year aired on Friday (Oct. 14) at 9:00 p.m. ET on CMT.

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