Country Tonite theater

Country Music Star Got Her Start at Country Tonite Theatre

Years ago she was singing her heart out on stage at the Country Tonite Theatre. Now, she’s got a CMT award for Breakthrough Video of the Year. Former Country Tonite star Carly Pearce is making a name for herself in the country music world. From performing on our stage in Pigeon Forge to standing on the stage at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville accepting her first award, we’ve got the story on Pearce’s journey to get to where she is today.

Moving to Pigeon Forge

microphone on stageFrom the time she was little, Carly Pearce knew she was born to be a country singer. And she was right. But she wanted to do more than just stand behind a microphone — she wanted to entertain. That’s why she auditioned to perform at Dollywood. When she got the part at age 16, Pearce left her hometown of Taylor Mill, Kentucky and moved to Pigeon Forge with her mom. In between performing 6 shows a day, with only one day off a week, Pearce finished high school. After spending a year doing what she loved at Dollywood, the talented star joined us at Country Tonite.

Pearce showcased her true talent while performing in our 1,500-seat multi-million dollar theater, and said she loved every minute of it. But she always knew deep down that Nashville was meant to be her home. Even though it was “really hard to leave,” Pearce had an opportunity to move to Nashville in 2009 and took it.

Starting Her Career in Nashville

When she first moved to Nashville, Pearce faced her fair share of setbacks, but she never gave up on her dream. She went from signing a developmental record deal with Sony that ended up being unsuccessful, to having to do odd jobs around the city like cleaning Airbnb’s and nannying. Then, she got the opportunity to sing backup vocals for Lucy Hale. From then on, Pearce’s hard work started paying off and more opportunities opened up. At the end of 2016, her debut single “Every Little Thing” started getting airplay on SiriusXM’s “The Highway,” and the success of it eventually helped her land a record deal. In early 2017, Pearce signed to Big Machine Records, the label of artists like Taylor Swift, Jennifer Nettles and Rascal Flatts. Since then, she has released her debut album and toured with big-name artists like Brett Young, Blake Shelton and Thomas Rhett.

CMT Awards

Pearce’s biggest accomplishment in her career so far, however, happened at the 2018 CMT Awards. Not only did she get to take the stage and perform her hit song, “Hide the Wine,” but she took the stage once again to accept her first CMT award for “Breakthrough Video of the Year.” In an emotional acceptance speech, Pearce talked about how she sat up in the stands for so many years and wondered if she would ever get there. She thanked her fans for everything, then she even added a thank you to the guy who broke her heart.

Watch Pearce’s full acceptance speech below:

We’re so proud of Carly Pearce and all of her accomplishments. Come visit the theater that helped Pearce grow into the star she is today! Learn more about our Pigeon Forge show and buy your tickets!