BREAKING: Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde Take Home Early CMA Awards Win

Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde are already big winners ahead of tonight’s 56th Annual CMA Awards.  On Wednesday morning, ahead…


Lauren Jo Black

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November 9, 2022


8:02 am

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Carly Pearce, Ashley McBryde; Photo Courtesy CMA

Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde are already big winners ahead of tonight’s 56th Annual CMA Awards. 

On Wednesday morning, ahead of the live broadcast of the 2022 CMA Awards, it was revealed that Pearce and McBryde’s chart-topping collab, “Never Wanted To Be That Girl,” was named CMA Musical Event of the Year. 

Pearce took to social media to react to the news following the announcement. 

“WOWWWW what a way to start #cmaawards day!!! This song means everything to me & seeing the life it has had this year has been so rewarding,” she wrote. “Thank you @cma for this. MUSICAL EVENT OF THE YEAR!!!” 

The news was announced live on ABC’s Good Morning America, where country superstar Keith Urban was performing live from downtown Nashville. 

“Never Wanted To Be That Girl” was a monumental No.1 as it is only the second female duet to top the charts in 30 years. 

The song reached No.1 on both the  Billboard and Mediabase/Country Aircheck charts in May. It marks Pearce’s third No. 1 single and McBryde’s first. 

“Never Wanted To Be That Girl” was co-written by Pearce and McBryde with Shane McAnally. It appears on Pearce’s latest album, 29: Written In Stone

YouTube video

Pearce and McBryde performed the duet during the 55th Annual CMA Awards in 2021 when they joined forces for the live debut of the song. 

“What’s interesting about this song is we could have gone to a place of blame on the others in the love triangle, but we turned it inward. It’s unique that two women who never meet are getting burned by the same man and having the exact same feelings. We intentionally kept the chorus the same to reflect that neither wanted to be in this position,” Pearce previously shared of the song.

McBryde added, “so many of us know how it is when you go back and start putting all of those pieces together. That moment when you realize the gut punch of the situation. This song isn’t really about being the other woman or even being messed around on as much as it’s about these two people who are exhibiting behaviors they normally wouldn’t – checking text messages, making excuses for why their dates are only on Tuesdays – and realizing it’s all because of the same person.”

Carly Pearce, Ashley McBryde; Photo Courtesy of Big Machine Label Group and Warner Music Nashville
Carly Pearce, Ashley McBryde; Photo Courtesy of Big Machine Label Group and Warner Music Nashville

The CMA Musical Event of the Year trophy is presented to the artists and producer(s). Also nominated in the category this year were “Beers On Me” by Dierks Bentley with BRELAND & HARDY,  “If I Didn’t Love You” – Jason Aldean & Carrie Underwood, “Longneck Way To Go” – Midland (featuring Jon Pardi), and “Never Say Never” – Cole Swindell (with Lainey Wilson).

Also during GMA, Cody Johnson’s “‘Til You Can’t” was announced as the winner of Music Video of the Year.

Winners in the remaining categories will be revealed tonight during the 56th Annual CMA Awards, broadcasting LIVE from Nashville on Wednesday, November 9 (8-11 pm EST) on ABC.

Country Music’s Biggest Night” will be co-hosted by two-time CMA Entertainer Of The Year Luke Bryan and NFL superstar Peyton Manning. 

Artists taking the CMA Awards stage include Jimmie Allen, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne, Bryan, Brandy Clark, Kelly Clarkson, Luke Combs, Caylee Hammack, HARDY, Cody Johnson, Elle King, Marcus King, Miranda Lambert, Patty Loveless, Ashley McBryde, Reba McEntire, John Osborne, Jon Pardi, Carly Pearce, Katy Perry, Pillbox Patti, Chris Stapleton, Cole Swindell, The Black Keys, The War and Treaty, Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood, Morgan Wallen, Lainey Wilson, and Zac Brown Band.  

Tonight’s CMA Awards presenters include Mookie Betts, BRELAND, Jessica Chastain, Jordan Davis, Sarah Drew, Cole Hauser, Tyler Hubbard, Wynonna Judd, Lady A, Rex Linn, Little Big Town, Parker McCollum, Reba McEntire, Ben and Erin Napier, Jeannie Seely, Michael Shannon, and Lainey Wilson.

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.