2022 CMA Awards: Ashley McBryde & Carly Pearce Win CMA Musical Event of the Year

by Jim Casey
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for ACM)

Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde’s award-winning duet, “Never Wanted to Be That Girl,” earned another award this morning. The 56th CMA Awards will air live tonight on ABC, but the Country Music Association is already handing out trophies. Early winners were announced in two categories on Good Morning America. Among the winners were Ashley and Carly for CMA Musical Event of the Year.

Earlier this year, Carly and Ashley’s duet earned a rare chart feat when it reached No. 1 on both the Mediabase chart and Billboard Country Airplay chart. While that is a stellar accomplishment in its own right, the breakup ballad is also just the third duet from solo female artists to reach No. 1 in the last 30 years. “Never Wanted to Be That Girl” joined Miranda Lambert and Elle King’s “Drunk (And I Don’t Want to Go Home)” in 2022 and Reba McEntire and Linda Davis’ “Does He Love You” in 1993 as chart-topping duets from solo female artists who decided to join forces.

Penned by Carly Pearce, Ashley McBryde, and Shane McAnally, “Never Wanted to Be That Girl” is featured on Carly’s third studio album, 29: Written in Stone. The tune is Carly’s third chart-topping single, following 2017’s “Every Little Thing” and 2019’s “I Hope You’re Happy Now.” “Never Wanted to Be That Girl” is Ashley’s first No. 1 single. She scored a Top 20 hit with “One Night Standards” in 2020.

In March, Ashley and Carly’s collaboration was named ACM Musical Event of the Year.

CMA Musical Event of the Year

Award goes to Artist(s) and Producer(s) 

  • “Beers On Me” – Dierks Bentley with BRELAND & HARDY / Producers: Dierks Bentley, Ross Copperman 
  • “If I Didn’t Love You” – Jason Aldean & Carrie Underwood / Producer: Michael Knox 
  • “Longneck Way To Go” – Midland (featuring Jon Pardi) / Producers: Dann Huff, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
  • “Never Say Never” – Cole Swindell (with Lainey Wilson) / Producer: Zach Crowell 
  • WINNER: “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” – Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde / Producers: Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne 

CMA Awards: Times & Channel

  • Date: Nov. 9
  • Location: Nashville’s Bridestone Arena
  • Hosts: Luke Bryan and Peyton Manning
  • Channel: ABC
  • Eastern Time: 8 p.m. (live)
  • Central Time: 7 p.m. (live)
  • Mountain Time: 7 p.m.
  • Pacific Time: 8 p.m.
  • Stream: Hulu (Nov. 10)


  • Kelsea Ballerini feat. Kelly Clarkson & Carly Pearce: “You’re Drunk, Go Home”
  • Brothers Osborne & The War and Treaty: “It’s Only Rock & Roll (But I Like It)”
  • Luke Bryan: “Country On”
  • Luke Combs: “The Kind of Love We Make”
  • Hardy & Lainey Wilson: “Wait in the Truck”
  • Cody Johnson: “’Til You Can’t”
  • Elle King & The Black Keys: “Great Balls of Fire”
  • Miranda Lambert: “Geraldene”
  • Ashley McBryde, Brandy Clark, Caylee Hammack, Pillbox Patti, John Osborne: “When Will I Be Loved”
  • Reba McEntire: TBA
  • Carly Pearce: TBA
  • Thomas Rhett & Katy Perry: “Where We Started”
  • Chris Stapleton & Patty Loveless: “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive”
  • Cole Swindell: “She Had Me at Heads Carolina”
  • Carrie Underwood: “Hate My Heart”
  • Morgan Wallen: “You Proof”
  • Zac Brown Band feat. Jimmie Allen & Marcus King : “Out in the Middle”

CMA Awards Presenters

  • Mookie Betts
  • Breland
  • Jessica Chastain
  • Jordan Davis
  • Sarah Drew
  • Cole Hauser
  • Tyler Hubbard
  • Wynonna Judd
  • Lady A
  • Rex Linn
  • Little Big Town
  • Parker McCollum
  • Reba McEntire
  • Ben and Erin Napier
  • Jeannie Seely
  • Michael Shannon
  • Lainey Wilson