Carly Pearce shrugs off naysayers who say her music gets too personal: “That’s my duty”


Carly Pearce’s latest single, “What He Didn’t Do,” is about as personal and specific as it gets. The chorus is a laundry list of all the reasons why a relationship ended in a breakup.

Her significant other, she sings in the song, didn’t “Treat me right, put me first / Be a man of his word / Stay home ‘cause he wanted to,” and so much more. It’s easy to read Carly’s personal, and very public, story into those lyrics: In 2020, she divorced fellow artist Michael Ray after eight months of marriage.

And while some might suggest that Carly shouldn’t inject too much of her own story into her music, the singer says in an interview with her record label that as a songwriter, she’s got a mandate to tell the truth.

“People might think that I write too much of my story, but for me, that’s my duty,” she says. “And I feel like when I am writing my story I am writing other people’s story, and this song proves it.”

The single — which comes off her 29: Written in Stone album and follows her chart-topping duet with Ashley McBryde, “Never Wanted to Be That Girl” — is one of the most-requested songs on the album, Carly says.

“I’ve never had a song that just — organically, socially — people ask for it in everything that I do,” she says. “Whether it’s online or in a tweet or in a DM or if I’m doing an interview, or radio stations have asked me about it.”

Truth-telling has been a major theme throughout Carly’s current album cycle, and that authenticity has paid off. She recently became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

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