When Carly Pearce’s breakout single “Every Little Thing” climbed to No. 1 on Billboard‘s airplay chart in November of 2017, the singer joined an exclusive club: Since 2006, only two other female country singers had managed to rule the airwaves with their very first single.
It took “Every Little Thing” 35 weeks to reach No. 1, but Pearce’s journey has been much longer. She was signed to a major label in Nashville at age 21 but was ultimately dropped from the roster. Pearce spent the next six years working odd jobs, honing her songwriting skills, and performing at every possible opportunity in an effort to tread water during a dark period in Nashville where it was hard for new female singers to get their foot in the door and get heard on the radio. Every major label in Nashville passed on Pearce, some more than once.
Since Pearce’s sound wasn’t in favor on Music Row, she looked elsewhere for help. First, connecting with busbee, a Berklee-trained songwriter and producer who has penned songs for Five Seconds Of Summer and Kelly Clarkson. The two collaborated on “Every Little Thing,” a ballad that’s both devastated and devastating, but which seemed like a non-starter with country radio. Undeterred, Pearce released the song independently, and it caught the attention of SiriuxXM’s The Highway. With that support, “Every Little Thing” started to gain attention, and suddenly labels that had ignored Pearce for years were trying to get back in touch.
“I wasn’t supposed to quit,” says Pearce in the above video, which goes into deeper detail on her battle for acceptance in Nashville.