Carly Pearce Got the Best Revenge on Her High School Bullies
Carly Pearce has established herself as a staple in country music, especially after winning the top prize for females in the genre at both the CMA and ACM Awards. It's something high school Carly — known as Carly Slusser back then — always dreamed of, despite being made fun of for it.
Asked what she would tell her younger self, Pearce had a perfect answer:
"Somewhere in my little brain I love telling Carly that they made fun of her and thought she was stupid for loving country music and all these things. One day it's gonna come back and you won't have to do anything ... you can just smile," she tells Taste of Country Nights' host Evan Paul.
Pearce says the same girls who used to bully her during her teens years are suddenly her biggest fans. "Do you know that they come wearing my merch and pay for meet and greets, she reveals. "And you're just like, 'really?'"
And they love to laud the "Diamondback" singer on social media.
"They're the first to post when you win something on Facebook," she adds. "And you're just like, '... Alright.'"
Pearce told Taste of Country Nights in 2020 that she had two nicknames in high school: "Shrek" and "Heifer." Although she laughs about it now, the names stung the young, impressionable artist at the time. Truth be told, seeing those girls fawn all over her and brag about her now is the ultimate revenge.
Pearce has lived a lot of life since her time in Taylor Mill, Ky., performing with a bluegrass band at the age of 11. The 32-year-old has never shied away from being vulnerable. In her most recent album, 29 — which touches on her divorce from Michael Ray — Pearce is an open book.
When asked what she hopes will be said about that album 10 years from now, the "Every Little Thing" artist simply says, "That it was the turning point of my artistry. And thank God she went through a divorce."
Pearce recently snagged her third No. 1 hit with "Never Wanted to Be That Girl" featuring Ashley McBryde. She is currently opening for Kenny Chesney's Here and Now Tour alongside Old Dominion and Dan + Shay.