Carly Pearce, Charles Kelley Deliver Soaring ‘I Hope You’re Happy Now’ at 2020 CMA Awards
Carly Pearce and Charles Kelley dazzled on the 2020 CMA Awards stage on Wednesday night (Nov. 11), offering up a pitch-perfect live performance of her hit single, "I Hope You're Happy Now." The song was already a CMA winner when the awards show began.
The song was originally set to be a duet with Lee Brice, who was initially supposed to join Pearce at the CMAs to re-create their hit single. However, on Sunday (Nov. 8), plans changed, as Brice tested positive for COVID-19 with just days to go until the awards show, which is when Kelley stepped in.
And while Kelley seemed to made it look easy to take the place of Brice on the powerful duet, it was in fact a pre-recorded performance. Just an hour before the live telecast, the members of Lady A shared the sad news that a family member had been exposed to COVID-19, and they had made the decision to stay home, just to play it safe.
Nevertheless, the performance not only highlighted Pearce's impressive vocal range, but also highlighted her long and muscular legs in a short black dress with silver trim.
"I Hope You're Happy Now" dropped in September of 2019 as the lead single from Pearce's 2020 self-titled sophomore album. Full of rich vocal harmony and a classic country storyline telling both sides of a breakup, the song rocketed up the country charts, and ultimately landed at No. 1 on Billboard's Country Airplay.
That made the song Pearce's second chart-topping hit and Brice's sixth, and Brice is such a fan of the song that he also chose to include it on the track list of his Hey World album. That project's due for release on Nov. 20.
The song garnered both artists plenty of awards attention in 2020, including multiple nominations at Wednesday night's show. "I Hope You're Happy Now" was nominated for Song of the Year, Musical Event of the Year and Music Video of the Year at the 2020 CMAs. It picked up Musical Event on Wednesday morning, giving both Pearce and Brice their very first CMA Awards wins.
It's a big night for Pearce, whose mentions for her work on "I Hope You're Happy Now" represent three out of four categories in which she scored nominations. She's also up in the New Artist of the Year category, where she also appeared last year, ultimately losing to Ashley McBryde.
Brice was nominated tonight alongside Pearce in the three categories for "I Hope You're Happy Now," and his history with the awards show also dates back a little further than hers. In 2015, he scored multiple nominations for his hit single, "I Don't Dance," but ultimately walked away empty-handed. He's also been in the running for New Artist of the Year twice, in 2012 and 2013.
While Brice wasn't able to attend the 2020 CMAs due to his COVID-19 diagnosis, a statement for the singer assured fans that he is "in good spirits and not experiencing any symptoms." He will be quarantining at home until he gets the all-clear from his doctor.