Shortly after appearing on ABC's Good Morning America last Thursday, Carly Pearce traveled to her hometown of Taylor Mill, Kentucky, to accept a rare honor: a road sign recognizing her success in country music, as well as the key to the city.
With #1 songs, CMA and ACM Awards, and Grand Ole Opry membership already to her credit, the "Next Girl" hitmaker points out that this new latest accolade is particularly close to her heart.
"Taylor Mill means so much to me on so many levels," she tells ABC Audio. "So the fact that they want to give me a sign that says 'Home of Carly Pearce' is kind of like every little childhood dream that I had, playing at talent shows in the town...Actually, where they're presenting this with me is where I played so many shows when I first started out."
Carly adds, "So I've always been told to never forget where you came from. And I think [my upcoming] album [29: Written in Stone] in particular has really brought me home, musically."
The hometown honor is one Carly was able to share with her parents, who supported her decision to leave school at 16 so she could go perform at Dollywood.
"All of these things that are happening to me were a dream that my parents helped bring to fruition for me," she reflects. "So it's definitely like a trifecta of emotions through the three of us because they were there every step of the way. And they were there when it wasn't working, and when I thought about giving up."
29: Written in Stone arrives on September 17.