Why Carly Pearce Is Proud to Say She's Happy Now After "Painful" Year of Change

In an exclusive interview with E! News, country singer Carly Pearce celebrated the release of 29: Written in Stone and how far she has come in the music industry.

By Mike Vulpo Sep 24, 2021 1:00 PMTags

The comeback is always greater than the setback.

Just within the past couple of months, Carly Pearce has found herself touring with close friends Lady A and being nominated for multiple 2021 CMA Awards, including Female Vocalist of the Year. If that wasn't impressive enough, the 31-year-old country singer recently released her new album 29: Written in Stone, which debuted at the top of the country charts on Sept. 17.

But as the musician reflects on her personal and professional accomplishments, Carly can't help but look back at how far she's come.

"I think anytime you go through something painful and unexpected, you have a decision to make: Is this going to define you or refine you and for me, I feel like this chapter in my life refined me and will only make me better in my next chapter," she exclusively shared with E! News. "And I think, hindsight is always 20/20. And for me, I learned a lot through that relationship. Now, I know better as I enter into a new one."

Back in June 2020, Carly filed for divorce from fellow country singer Michael Ray after eight months of marriage. She recently started quietly dating former MLB player Riley King.

Musicians Performing Live on Stage

Carly also mourned the loss of her beloved producer and mentor Michael James Ryan, known as Busbee, in September 2019. To make matters worse, the coronavirus pandemic put a pause on touring and live events, leaving her unable to interact with thousands of fans.

Timothy Norris/Getty Images

After Carly shared part of her journey on her EP 29 back in April, she's ready to close the chapter on a more positive note.

"I feel like what this project does in its entirety is take you through my process of realization and grieving and going through something, not shying away from it and really doing the work and coming out on the other side," Carly explained. "I think now that there's a full project, I feel like your life should be written in stone and your truth should be written in stone and the actions and how you are in your life should be written in stone and that's exactly what I've done in this project and hopefully I can help people, to see you can overcome."

On 29: Written in Stone, Carly co-wrote a track called "Diamondback" with close friend Kelsea Ballerini. She also teamed up with Ashley McBryde on "Never Wanted to Be That Girl."

Lady A's What a Song Can Do Tour

"I'm such a fan of talented people and especially women and I feel like getting to collaborate is one of the most fun things we get to do as artists," Carly shared. "With this project, I feel like I needed some of those powerhouse women to help me tell my story and Ashley and I, I'm so proud of this song. We wrote it together and I just think it's a really relatable song to so many women, hopefully we'll bring some healing."

John Shearer/Getty Images for Country Music Association

Perhaps it's safe to say that goal has already been accomplished. While on the What a Song Can Do tour, Carly has the opportunity to meet with fans and hear how her music inspired them.

"I remember feeling so embarrassed by my story as I was kind of coming to terms with the fact that it was happening to me about a year and a half ago and I now stand so proud that I'm able to make an impact," Carly said. "I mean that's what we are put on this earth to do and it's just so fulfilling to feel like you're letting people into your life and in return, they are realizing they're not alone and I'm also realizing I'm not alone."

As Carly ends her shows with the song "Hope You're Happy Now," she is proud to say she is in fact happy. And with a headlining solo tour kicking off this November, perhaps the best is yet to come.

"The way that I end the record is a song called ‘Mean It This Time' and I do say that as the last words to my audience every single night," Carly said. "For me, what that signifies is I am hopeful. I am happy. I went through some things that I shouldn't have had to go through. But I came out on the other side. I'm not bitter. I'm not jaded. I'm hopeful and I'm excited for love and I hope that the people in the audience that are feeling overwhelmed in their journey, they can see that as hope."