Carly Pearce Sought Advice From Kelsea Ballerini and Maren Morris When She Began Dating Michael Ray

Carly Pearce and Michael Ray dating
Photo by Tammie Arroyo/

Relationships are hard enough, but imagine being a musician in a relationship with another
musician, like Carly Pearce and Michael Ray. The two could be at opposite ends of the country or on opposite sides of the world at any given moment, both jockey for chart positions at country radio, and both are trying to give attention and gratitude to their fans.

Knowing what was ahead of her when she and Michael started their courtship, Carly turned to a couple of celebrities who had been there for advice—pals Kelsea Ballerini, who is married to artist Morgan Evans, and Maren Morris, who is married to artist Ryan Hurd.

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“Before it came out I actually talked to her (Kelsea) and Maren and they were two of the first people that I told, that were in my artist friends circle,” Carly says. “And they’ve been great and really encouraged me in the beginning. I was really nervous about just—you take on somebody else’s identity, especially when you do the same thing. And I felt like I could go to them.”

Not only could she go to them, she could also get an honest assessment of her situation from Kelsea as she ended one relationship when she realized she was falling for Michael.

Carly says, “I remember that whole process and I felt very much like what I watched with her was happening to me and she was able to kind of look at me and go, ‘Told you that you weren’t in the right thing before.  And now you’re understanding where I am.’  And they just really encouraged me to walk towards that and not be afraid of that and to look at them and say, ‘Yeah, we do the same thing, and look how amazing it is for us.’ So they’ve been really awesome.”

According to Carly’s record label, her new single, “Closer to You,” is a reflection of how she feels about her relationship with her handsome fellow country star.

Look for Carly on the road next year with “Yours” singer Russell Dickerson.