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Carly Pearce says Charles Kelley’s “the real MVP” after he quickly stepped up to perform with her at the CMAs

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CMA/ABCCarly Pearce has had to do some fancy footwork in order to perform her CMA-winning single, “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” at the 2020 CMA Awards tonight.

That’s because just days before the show, her duet partner, Lee Brice, tested positive for COVID-19 and needed to step down from their planned duet performance.

“I was so upset for Lee,” Carly says. “And he was so upset, and we were really looking forward to this moment. But in the same sense, I was so grateful to the CMAs for immediately reassuring me they wanted me to be a part of the show. And they understood this song, it’s meant to be a duet. It’s not meant for me to sing by myself.”

Cue Lady A’s Charles Kelley, who quickly stepped in as Lee’s substitute. With the clock rapidly racing toward their performance, Carly says that she and Charles have already gotten a chance to rehearse the song.

“That’s how quick Charles stepped in and was, like, the real MVP,” the singer continues. “To be honest with you, it sounds like we’ve been singing it together forever.”

Ahead of tonight’s show, Carly is already a 2020 CMAs winner. On ABC’s Good Morning America, it was announced that she and Lee and won the Musical Event of the Year trophy for “I Hope You’re Happy Now.”

The 2020 CMA Awards air tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.


By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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