WATCH: Carly Pearce And Jo Dee Messina Send Fans Into A Frenzy With Surprise CMA Fest Duet
The pair had fans inside Nissan Stadium singing along to every word of the beloved ‘90s country hit.
Carly Pearce, Jo Dee Messina; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Carly Pearce had the opportunity to step onto the main stage at CMA Fest for her first-ever full set, and she made the most of her time on the Nissan Stadium stage with performances of some of her biggest hits and by welcoming a very special guest.
While backstage at the festival, Pearce teased, “Fans can expect me to be really excited. A lot of high energy, but a lot of, they’ve made so many of my songs, big songs and some of those songs, I never thought anybody would hear them past being an album cut on my record. Just a lot of joy and I have a special guest that I do love, nineties country, and it is the 50th, so I probably need to have a big sing along.”
That special guest came in the form of country hitmaker Jo Dee Messina, who joined Pearce in singing her 1998 chart-topper, “I’m Alright.” The pair had fans inside Nissan Stadium singing along to every word of the beloved ‘90s country hit.
“I’m al-, I’m al-, I’m alright/ It’s a beautiful day, not a cloud in sight/ So I guess I’m doing alright/ Oh, oh, I’m alright/ I got a good old friend here with me tonight/ And I guess I’m doing alright,” they sang.
“I got to perform with Carly Pearce and I just had a wonderful time. She’s so sweet and kind and we had a great time at soundcheck,” Messina shared. “The performance was, well, you see it. So anyways, I was just really honored to be asked.”
CMA Fest also featured Pearce performing her latest chart-topping hit, “What He Didn’t Do.” The song, which hit No.1 in the spring, was co-written by Pearce alongside Ashley Gorley and Emily Shackelton following her divorce from Michael Ray.
The song resonated with fans far and wide and helped Pearce close the chapter on her critically acclaimed 29: Written In Stone album.
“The hardest season of my life brought me the most beautiful redemption story. The most personal song I’ve released to radio is the #1 song in the country. I’m drinking rose and I’m in my feels and just so grateful for the life you’ve given me,” she shared when the track reached the top spot on the country charts.
The three-hour CMA Fest special was hosted by Dierks Bentley, Elle King, and Lainey Wilson and aired on ABC on Wednesday, July 19.
Dubbed “the music event of summer,” the special featured 30+ performances and surprise collaborations from some of Country music’s hottest stars, including Alabama, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Leon Bridges, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Jordan Davis, Vince Gill, HARDY, Tyler Hubbard, Jelly Roll, Cody Johnson, Elle King, Miranda Lambert, Avril Lavigne, Little Big Town, Ashley McBryde, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Jo Dee Messina, Old Dominion, Jon Pardi, Carly Pearce, Darius Rucker, Tanya Tucker, Keith Urban, and Lainey Wilson.
CMA Fest marked its 50th Anniversary with a record-breaking celebration in Nashville, June 8 through June 11.
The four-day event hosted an estimated daily attendance of over 90,000, a 12% increase from 2022, according to the Country Music Association. Additionally, the nightly concerts at Nissan Stadium saw 10% growth from 2022.
The festival also hosted fans from all 50 states as well as a record-breaking 51 countries.
“What a weekend! As we’ve spent the past year reflecting on this milestone celebration, one theme has persisted—the incredible connection between Country Music fans and the artists,” Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer, shared in a statement. “It’s magical because it still matters after all these years. From first-timers to legends, so many artists started as fans—some as far back as Fan Fair. Almost every artist who performs during the festival has had their own experience as a fan, so for many of them, taking the stage at CMA Fest is a full-circle moment. We only get the chance to celebrate our 50th anniversary once, and to do so in such an impactful way has meant the world to us. Thank you, Country Music!”
More than 300 acts took part in CMA Fest this year, including performances at the Chevy Riverfront Stage, Dr Pepper Amp Stage, Chevy Vibes Stage, Maui Jim Reverb Stage and the Hard Rock Stage as well at Fan Fair X inside Music City Center.
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