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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois State chapter.

Even if you’re not a country music fan, there’s a chance that you may have heard the song “Every Little Thing” by Carly Pearce. Originally from Kentucky, Pearce started her music career by convincing her parents to let her move to Nashville and perform at Dollywood as a way to get experience. Now, after her first record deal fell through and she considered if being a country music star was actually in the cards for her, Pearce has collaborated with some of the biggest stars in the country music industry today, like Ashley McBryde and Lee Brice. Since making waves on country radio in 2016, Pearce has become a force to be reckoned with musically, helping pave the way for a strong generation of female artists in a male-dominated industry. 

Songs like “Next Girl” are reminiscent of Carrie Underwood classics like “Before He Cheats” but for a new generation of young women, and “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” prove that Pearce has the ability to connect with audiences over shared struggles. 

Pearce has been compared to country legends like Trisha Yearwood and even got invited to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry by Dolly Parton. She’s recently won the Country Music Association’s Award for Female Vocalist of the Year, and in 2020, she was the only female country artist to be on Forbes 30 Under 30 list. Her latest album, 29: Written in Stone, has been named one of Billboard’s top ten country music albums of 2021 and has continued to touch listeners across the country, including my sister and me. Even though I’ve never experienced the main inspiration for the album (divorce), the unfiltered truth behind Pearce’s emotions at the time make the album special. 

In the album, Pearce details the devastation of her divorce, but also shows glimpses of the strength she had gained from going through a public separation. The record tells a complete story of a year in Pearce’s life, and for that reason, on her 29 tour, she plays the entire album in order. Personally, I had never attended a concert in which the artist went track by track through a whole album until I saw Pearce back in December. Not only does she have the powerful voice and sparkly microphone stand, but she also has the ability to hook an audience in with sassy breakup tracks and heartbreaking ballads. 

Pearce also has the humbleness and humility that fans often want from a performer. After attending her concert, despite feeling under the weather, she still stood in the cold outside of her tour bus to talk with fans and apologize for not being able to take photos with everyone. She blushed when fans called out that they loved her and her music, and despite not feeling well, she had a smile on her face all night while performing. 

Even if you’re not the biggest fan of country music, I still think Carly Pearce’s music deserves a spot on your playlists. Her clever lyrics and vulnerability make her a stand-out artist that will only get bigger in years to come.

Caitlin Eichhorn

Illinois State '23

Caitlin is a senior at Illinois State University studying Public Relations and Spanish. She is a member of Theta Beta chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma and loves being a writer for Her Campus. When she's not studying or writing her novel, she is watching 80s films or hockey highlights.