Carly Pearce plays an early evening show Saturday at the Pima County Fair, with Frankie Ballard playing later that same night.

Carly Pearce was the only woman on the marquee for Blake Shelton’s 2018 “Country Music Freaks” Tour.

Ditto when she went on the road early last year with Luke Bryan, and she’ll be the only woman once again this summer when she takes off with Jason Aldean.

“I’m very excited,” the 28-year-old Kentucky native said. “I feel really lucky to be not only the girl power, but be the first person that people meet when they come to the show.”

She’ll be in a similar but different situation Saturday, April 20, when she performs an early evening concert at the Pima County Fair.

Her 6 p.m. show on the smaller Four Peaks Brewing Company Stage is part of the fair’s concert series that also includes rising country newcomer Frankie Ballard on the Budweiser Main Stage at 8 p.m. Saturday.

In a phone call earlier this week from her home in Nashville, Pearce talked about her music, her goal to become a dominate female voice in country music and getting married.

Pearce has been in Nashville for 10 years. The first seven years were filled with career ups and downs, including a disappointing major label development deal.

But three years ago, things started turning around for Pearce, who got her start in music when she quit school and left home at 16 to join the cast of Dollywood in Tennessee. She stayed there for three years before taking the plunge and moving to Nashville.

“A lot of people got comfortable at Dollywood because you get to sing for a living every night and you’re a big fish in a small pond of people,” she said. “ A lot of people never made the jump to Nashville.”

Pearce’s big break came when she joined the Josh Abbott Band on its 2015 single “Wasn’t That Drunk,” which morphed into a spot on the band’s tour. That all brought Pearce to the attention of celebrated Grammy-winning producer Busbee, who produced her debut single “Every Little Thing,” which became a hit with listeners of Sirius XM’s The Highway, which led to Pearce getting a record deal with Big Machine Records.

“I never thought in a million years that my song would do what it did,” Pearce said. “That’s the power of the song and just the power of what three minutes can do to your life.”

The success gave license for Pearce to dream even bigger. In late 2017, she released her debut album that took its name from her debut single and landed a spot on the tours of Shelton, Bryan and Rascal Flatts.

“I’ve been lucky to have a great group of guys that I’ve gotten to open for,” she said.

Pearce late last year released “Closer to You,” the third single off the album and one that pretty much sums up where she is in her life.

“For me it’s just always been about the song and the lyrics and staying true to who you are,” she said. “(The song) tells the story of what’s really going in my life, which is the fact that I’m in love and getting married. I’m excited to celebrate that with the fans.”

She and fellow country singer Michael Ray (“One That Got Away” and “Kiss You In the Morning”) are getting married sometime this year.

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at or 573-4642. On Twitter @Starburch