Carly Pearce returned to the Ellen Degeneres Show on Tuesday (Feb. 2), performing her current single, "Next Girl."

The song is currently rising up the country charts and has already broken the Top 40 on Billboard's Country Airplay chart.

Pearce's appearance on Ellen is a fun, full-circle moment for the singer, as it's not the first time she's performed on that stage. Way back in 2014, a young Pearce was the backup singer for Lucy Hale during the latter artist's Ellen performance of "Lie a Little Better," off her debut album, Road Between.

This particular performance isn't the only time Pearce can be spotted singing backup for Hale. She actually toured with the singer and actor for three months that year, even moving to Los Angeles for the gig. But Hale always knew that Pearce was destined for a spotlight of her own: In a 2018 Cosmopolitan article, Pearce recalls her former boss asking her, "Why are you singing backup for me? I YouTubed you last night, and I don't understand."

Before her stint working with Hale, Pearce was a performer at Dolly Parton's Dollywood theme park. While working hard to land whatever gigs she could in the country music business, the young singer was also chasing her dreams of being a recording artist in her own right, landing what would prove to be a short-lived record deal with Sony that ended when her A&R rep was fired and she, too, was let go.

Despite the ups and downs of her early days, Pearce never gave up: And her perseverance paid off when she signed a new deal with Big Machine Records and put out "Every Little Thing," which became her first No. 1 hit.

These days, Pearce's career is continuing to pick up steam. She won her first CMA Award (for Music Event of the Year, courtesy of her hit duet with Lee Brice," I Hope You're Happy Now") in 2020, and is teasing new music less than a year after the release of her self-titled sophomore project. Most recently, she offered up a socially distanced rendition of the National Anthem before the NFC Championship Game in late January.

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