Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde’s ‘Never Wanted To Be That Girl’ Is the Second Female Duet In 30 Years To Reach No.1

Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde officially have the No.1 song in country music this week as their emotional collaboration, “Never…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

May 9, 2022

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Carly Pearce, Ashley McBryde; Photo Courtesy CMA

Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde officially have the No.1 song in country music this week as their emotional collaboration, “Never Wanted To Be That Girl,” reached the top spot on both the  Billboard and Mediabase/Country Aircheck charts.

The song, co-written by Pearce and McBryde with Shane McAnally, is the second female duet to top the charts in 30 years. It marks Pearce’s third No. 1 single and McBryde’s first. 

Upon hearing the news, both artists took to social media to express their gratitude and reflect on the song. 

YouTube video

“When @ashleymcbryde and I were writing “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” with @shanemcanally, we were just in the moment, thinking about the women we want to be and the way that’s not always how life and love turn out. But nobody ever paused long enough to think about having a #1 record or winning an Academy of Country Music Award. We wanted to shake off an honest mistake, and now here we are with the No. 1 song at Country radio and the ACM trophy for Music Event of the Year,” Pearce shared. 

She went on to point out, “sometimes out of something bad comes something good.”

After thanking country radio, fans and their respective teams, Carly Pearce shared a sweet message for McBryde. 

“Ashley, I am so proud to call you my friend, my sister and I will forever be grateful for this song bringing us together. Gonna go cry for the 100th time! ♥” 

McBryde reflected on the moment on social media as well, writing, “First times only happen once. I’ll always remember I was in Leeds, England when I got the news. I’ll always love that Carly and I got to ride this rocket of a song together. I’ll always love that she, Shane and I trusted each other and ourselves to be brutally honest when we wrote it. It doesn’t get a whole lot better than that.” 

“Never Wanted To Be That Girl” appears on Carly Pearce’s 2021 project, 29: Written In Stone.

“Just thinking about how this song even came to be: I had an idea to have Ashley on a song and she was on board,” Pearce shared with her label. “And just to see what it’s done and the stories that we’ve heard, and to be two women to get a number one – it’s Ashley’s first, which I think is really awesome, and I’m so happy for her. And this is the kind of music that I want to write and I want to sing, and to see it do what it’s done at radio makes me really proud.”

The superstars brought the song to life with high-profile performances, including the 55th Annual CMA Awards and 57th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards.

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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.