Rascal Flatts' Gary LeVox and Carly Pearce; Photo Courtesy of Social Media
Rascal Flatts' Gary LeVox and Carly Pearce; Photo Courtesy of Social Media

WATCH: Carly Pearce & Gary LeVox Surprise With “What Hurts The Most” Duet In Nashville

Carly Pearce couldn’t come up with the words to best describe her recent sold-out concert at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium.

The performance, which took place on Wednesday (Oct. 26) night, kicked off the first of back-to-back shows that celebrated her closing out the chapter to her 29: Written In Stone breakup album.

This is the first time Pearce has ever headlined a show at the birthplace of bluegrass, and the Kentucky-born artist made sure to incorporate some special elements of surprise in her set to honor that benchmark.

For her concert, which included an 18-song set list and featured Jackson Dean as an opener, Pearce brought out some special guests who largely impacted her career – one of them being Gary LeVox, formerly the frontman of Rascal Flatts. LeVox, who has undergone solo projects since Flatts announced they were disbanding after 20 years together, was brought out as part of the encore to Pearce’s headlining debut.

A video shared by one fan shows the two singers sharing the stage for a rendition of Rascal Flatts’ early 2000s smash, “What Hurts The Most.”

In this clip, the two artists can be seen making their way down a set of stairs with Pearce taking the first verse. Fans can be heard singing along to the lyrics as LeVox – sporting a Carly Pearce shirt in support of his friend – sings harmony on the chorus.

What hurts the most / Was being so close / And having so much to say / And watching you walk away / And never knowing / What could’ve been / And not seeing that love in you / Is what I was trying to do,” the pair sing before LeVox shows off his falsetto near the end of the performance.

“Talk about an ENCORE. @carlypearce surprised the crowd tonight at The Ryman and brought out Gary Levox of @rascalflatts to sing “What Hurts The Most,” the caption reads beneath the post.

LeVox, who has toured with Pearce in the past, has supported her throughout her journey as a country artist. He was recently on hand to present her with a 2022 CMT Artist of the Year award – a night that also saw her perform her emotional “29” ballad from her current project.

LeVox wasn’t the only artist to join Pearce on stage at the Mother Church of Country Music. The reigning ACM/CMA Female Vocalist of the Year welcomed two more of her heroes to the stage – fellow Kentucky native, Bluegrass musician Ricky Skaggs, and country singer-songwriter Bill Anderson

Skaggs joined Pearce for a duet on the popular bluegrass song, “Blue Moon of Kentucky,” while Anderson and Pearce shared the stage to channel his duet with Dolly Parton, “Some Day It Will All Make Sense.”

“Oh yes, that’s @RickySkaggs onstage with @carlypearce playing “Blue Moon of Kentucky” at @theryman,” one person tweeted, alongside a video featuring the performance.

“I just watched @carlypearce duet with @WhisperinBill on his @DollyParton duet “Some Day It Will All Make Sense” at @theryman. It’s really quite the perfect thing,” the same Twitter user wrote, alongside a clip featuring the duet.

“Ryman Night 1. No words,” a speechless Pearce captioned a post on her personal Twitter page, including four photos from her show at the prestigious venue.

Along with serving as the finale to her album, 29: Written In Stone, Pearce’s two-night run lends itself as a tribute to what has been a 13-year journey to success marked by ups and downs (that included her publicized divorce from country singer Michael Ray) for the 32-year-old singer/songwriter.

But Pearce sure has come a long way. The “What He Didn’t Do” songstress has seen her biggest year thus far. She heads into the end of 2022 with five nominations to her name at the upcoming CMA Awards. Those include categories for, musical event of the year, music video of the year, and single and song of the year (all for “Never Wanted to Be That Girl” with Ashley McBryde), as well as female vocalist of the year. She will also be inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame on Friday (Oct. 28).

Pearce’s second show at the Ryman Auditorium takes place on Thursday (Oct. 27) night. The concert will feature the band, Mountain Heart.

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