Michael Ray and Carly Pearce have confirmed the rumors: They're dating, and they owe it all to an unexpected night at a Nashville honky-tonk.

Fans have been speculating about Ray and Pearce's relationship status after spotting sweet comments they've been leaving on each other's Instagram posts. Early Thursday morning (July 19), both rising stars shared a photo of themselves cuddling on a couch backstage at the Grand Ole Opry.

"And then one random night at the Nashville Palace changed everything," Pearce writes in her Instagram post; the Nashville Place is a bar located near the Grand Ole Opry. Ray adds that their relationship began "over old classic country music."

On Wednesday (July 18), Ray was asked about his social media flirtations with Pearce during a media roundtable. At the time, he kept quiet, simply stating, "When it comes time to talk about the dating life, it will come out."

“She’s a great girl, and I think that she’s an incredible person," Ray added (quote via One Country). "Right now, everything on both ends are about both our singles and both our music, and it’ll come out. She’s great, I’m a big fan. I’ll leave it at that.”

Both Pearce and Ray are working their way up through the country music ranks: He is signed to Atlantic Nashville, and she to Big Machine. Pearce released her debut album, Every Little Thing, in late 2017 and was a 2018 New Female Vocalist of the Year nominee at the ACM Awards; she won Breakthrough Video of the Year at the 2018 CMT Music Awards.

Ray, meanwhile, released his sophomore album, Amos, in June. He earned a No. 1 song with his debut single, "Kiss You in the Morning," in 2015. Both he and Pearce were part of the 2018 Country Radio Seminar New Faces of Country Music show in February as well.

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