Country Now Awards: Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde’s ‘Never Wanted To Be That Girl’ Crowned Favorite Collaboration

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

The fans have spoken and Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde’s vulnerable collaboration, “Never Wanted To Be That Girl,” has been crowned Favorite Collaboration at the Country Now Awards.

Announced during the inaugural Country Now Awards livestream, the award was 100% fan voted.

Pearce, who was the most-nominated artist at the first-ever Country Now Awards, accepted the honor virtually.

“I am just blown away that I have won Favorite Collaboration for ‘Never Wanted To Be That Girl’ with Ashley McBryde,” the superstar shared. “Thank you, fans. I know that this was fan voted, and we could not do what we do without you, so this song means so much to me. It means so much to Ashley and thank you.”


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Co-written by Pearce and McBryde with Shane McAnally, “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” is featured on Pearce’s album, 29: Written In Stone. The song tells the story of two women caught up in a love triangle and has often been compared to the iconic Reba McEntire and Linda Davis duet, “Does He Love You.”

“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.

Ashley 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.”

Also nominated in the Favorite Collaboration category was “Beers On Me” by Dierks Bentley, BRELAND and HARDY, “Buy Dirt” by Jordan Davis and Luke Bryan, “Drinkin’ Beer, Talkin’ God. Amen.” by Chase Rice and Florida Georgia Line, “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” by Elle King and Miranda Lambert, “Famous Friends” by Chris Young and Kane Brown, “Freedom Was A Highway” by Jimmie Allen and Brad Paisley, “Chasing After You” by Ryan Hurd and Maren Morris, “Getting Over Him” by Lauren Alaina and Jon Pardi, “Half Of My Hometown” by Kelsea Ballerini and Kenny Chesney, “If I Didn’t Love You” by Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood, and “Thinking ‘Bout You” by Dustin Lynch and MacKenzie Porter.

The Inaugural Country Now Awards streamed on Wednesday, December 8. The winners in the 14 categories were determined by fan votes placed between November 15 and November 30 on Over 1.1 million total votes were cast.

Hosted by Country Now’s Lauren Black, the Country Now Awards featured special appearances by Brantley Gilbert, Carly Pearce, Chayce Beckham, Chelcie Lynn (a.k.a. Trailer Trash Tammy), Elle King, ERNEST, Jameson Rodgers, Jimmie Allen, Kaleb Austin, Katie Austin, Kierra Lewis, Lindsay Ell, Morgan Wallen, and Walker Hayes.

George Birge, HARDY, Jameson Rodgers, Jimmie Allen, Laine Hardy, Lainey Wilson, Restless Road and Lily Rose performed.

The Country Now Awards live stream was in support of the Love Music. Stop Cancer. Campaign to raise awareness and support for kids with cancer and other catastrophic diseases at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. Visit to learn more about Love Music. Stop Cancer.