Nashville, Tennessee, is a beloved epicenter of country music. It’s also known as a “ten-year town,” a place where the mettle of young singer-songwriters is tested in a decade-long march to “overnight” success. The idea that talented artists like Carly Pearce or Kelsea Ballerini would likely burn out entirely or face mental struggles amid chasing mainstream acclaim is logical but not often discussed. However, in a recent interview for SiriusXM’s Exit 209 with Storme Warren Podcast — and with this being Mental Health Awareness Month — the 29 album vocalist Pearce shared an intriguing story related to how she met “Hole In The Bottle” singer Kelsea Ballerini.
“Somewhere around 24, 25. I met Kelsea Ballerini…we were like in a girl’s therapy group for artists. And she was the only one in the room, but she would, she was like, I got a record deal and my single “Love Me Like You Mean It” is about to come out. And I hated her. I literally looked at her and was like, ’This girl is like five years younger than me. She’s so happy and not jaded.’ And I just remember being like…I wanted what she had so bad.”
Pearce, now an award-winning singer of the Lee Brice duet “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” adds, “Imagine if I would have just sat and stewed and been bratty, we probably wouldn’t have the relationship that we have because she was just, she had every right to be excited. I was just envious and we joke about it now because…I was just so envious, but I decided to just be like, ‘Hey, I have no idea what I’m doing.’ And she became such a friend, but also a huge asset for me of, she didn’t forget me.”