Carly Pearce was already in high spirits when she learned that she was nominated for four ACM Awards earlier this year, so imagine her excitement when it was announced that her musical inspiration, Dolly Parton, would be the host for the evening.
The 57th Academy Of Country Music Awards were held in Las Vegas on March 7 with Nashville newcomers Gabby Barrett and Jimmie Allen as co-hosts alongside Parton. You’d imagine being in the presence of the queen of country music, no matter how far away in the stadium, would be an exciting moment for anyone. For Pearce this night was something she will remember forever because of the great impression Parton has left on each step of her career.
“Dolly Parton has always been a huge inspiration in my life ever since I was a little girl,” she told HELLO! Online.
In a way, Parton had a hand in helping Pearce get her foot in the door of the music industry. The 31-year-old “Every Little Thing” singer moved to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, at the young age of 16-years-old after dropping out of high school to pursue her career in music full time. Her new home led to the opportunity to work at the Dollywood Theme Park, six times a day, five times a week, which she happily accepted.
Pearce has come a long way since that first gig. Last year she was reminded of that and how her hard work has not gone unnoticed during that time. She returned to her roots for what she thought was promotional taping for Dollywood, when in fact, she received the surprise of a lifetime when Parton herself suddenly walked into the room. Although this was an atypical way to go about it, Parton was there to invite Pearce to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry, which is one of the highest honors in country music. Hearing the news brought tears to Pearce’s eyes, especially because of the person who was standing next to her in that moment.
“She has taught me so much over the years from her kindness and the way she treats others, to her incredible songwriting and her ability to speak from the heart in all of her songs,” Pearce said referring to Parton. “Her impact on myself and country music as a whole is something I’ll always cherish.”
Pearce got to witness the “9 to 5” singer perform and host this year’s ACM Award Show while in attendance at the coveted awards ceremony in Las Vegas. Out of her four nominations, Pearce took home Female Artist of the Year and Music Event Of The Year. That night she also gave a stunning performance of “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” alongside her duet partner Ashley McBryde.
“All those years in the shows at Dollywood, you’d imagine… but maybe never truly dream… and to be nominated this year with Dolly hosting? It’s beyond a dream,” Pearce stated.
The dream continues for Pearce this year. She finished up the first leg of her 29 Tour in December before announcing the news that she has added more dates to her headlining tour in Europe starting in September.