CMA Awards 2020: Carly Pearce Performs Breakup Anthem Amid Michael Ray Divorce

Singing away the pain? Carly Pearce performed a duet with Charles Kelley at the 2020 Country Music Association Awards amid her divorce from estranged husband Michael Ray.

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Pearce, 30, and Kelley, 39, sang her hit “I Hope You’re Happy Now” at the Wednesday, November 11, awards ceremony, which took place in Nashville. The Lady A member replaced her original duet partner, Lee Brice, after the 41-year-old crooner tested positive for coronavirus.

Carly Pearce Performs Breakup Anthem at CMAs 2020 Amid Michael Ray Divorce
Carly Pearce and Charles Kelley perform “I Hope You’re Happy Now” at the 2020 CMAs. John Russell/Country Music Association Inc./Shutterstock

The “Next Girl” songstress teased the performance via Instagram on Thursday, November 5, prior to Brice’s diagnosis. “I truly have no words for this one,” she wrote. “I have dreamt of singing one of my songs on the @cma awards since I was a little girl, and it’s finally happening. Watch Country Music’s Biggest Night LIVE next Wednesday on ABC as I perform ‘I Hope You’re Happy Now’ with @leebrice! (And probably low key cry into my microphone) #cmaawards.”

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Although the track focuses on a couple moving on after a breakup, Pearce had someone other than Ray, 32, in mind when she penned the song. She revealed in December 2019 that she actually called it quits with her ex, whom the tune is based on, because of her feelings for the fellow country star.

Carly Pearce Performs Breakup Anthem at CMAs 2020 Amid Michael Ray Divorce
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“I’m married, and I don’t want anyone to think that I have this person still lingering in my past or looming because this is my story,” she explained in a YouTube video. “But I also feel like this person is in a good place too, and I wanted people to kind of, the payoff of that to be he’s finally seeing his ex-girlfriend for the first time and is able to kind of look her in the face and say, ‘It’s OK.’”

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Us Weekly confirmed that Pearce filed for divorce from Ray in June after eight months of marriage. She made their relationship Instagram official in July 2018, and they tied the knot in October 2019.

The “Hide the Wine” singer spoke out about the split in October, telling ET Canada that the biggest lesson she learned was that she is “way stronger than I thought.”

Pearce noted that she hoped “people respect us to understand that we are humans and I certainly didn’t get married to get divorced,” adding that “things happen.”

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