Carly Pearce, Ashley McBryde score No 1 hit

Song is second female duet to top charts in nearly 30 years

Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde have scored a No. 1 hit with “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” as it tops both the Billboard and Mediabase/Country Aircheck charts this week. The song gives Pearce her third career No. 1 following her history-making debut in 2017 and 2020’s “I Hope You’re Happy Now” with Lee Brice. This marks McBryde’s first-ever country radio chart topper.

“When Ashley McBryde and I were writing ‘Never Wanted To Be That Girl’ with Shane McAnally, we were just in the moment, thinking about the women we want to be and the way that’s not always how life and love turn out. But nobody ever paused long enough to think about having a #1 record or winning an Academy of Country Music Award. We wanted to shake off an honest mistake, and now here we are with the No. 1 song at country radio and the ACM trophy for Music Event of the Year. Sometimes out of something bad comes something good,” Pearce shares on social media.

“Thank you to everyone who plays country music, our fans, our record labels, management teams, agents, our bands and everyone in between.

“Ashley, I am so proud to call you my friend, my sister and I will forever be grateful for this song bringing us together. Gonna go cry for the 100th time!”

“First times only happen once. I’ll always remember I was in Leeds, England when I got the news. I’ll always love that
Carly Pearce and I got to ride this rocket of a song together,” McBryde shares. “I’ll always love that she, Shane and I trusted each other and ourselves to be brutally honest when we wrote it. It doesn’t get a whole lot better than that.”

“Never Wanted to Be That Girl” is sung from the perspective of two women – the single girl thanking the guy who helped change her flat tire and the wife at home – discovering the man they’re involved with has someone else. The shattering truth in a text – for McBryde – and the reality of where he’s been when he gets home – for Pearce – finds the two women reeling as they consider their own blind spots in a painfully sobering moment.

The pair joined female and first-time director Alexa Campbell to film scenes of their parallel lives out of sync with the wrong guy. Each unassuming woman finds herself in a place she never wanted to be – both suspecting and discovering the truth about a liar. The clips captured just outside of Nashville find the two women visually reflecting as they consider their own blind spots in a painfully sobering moment.

Pearce and McBryde are only the third female duet to top the country radio charts since since being tracked in 1990. Reba McEntire and Linda Davis were the first with “Does He Love You” in 1993, followed by Miranda Lambert and Elle King’s “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” just last month, breaking a 29 year record.


Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites. Email: