Ashley McBryde is opening up about how she and Carly Pearce approached the subject of “Never Wanted to Be That Girl.”

When the hit singers sat down to write with Shane McAnally, they discussed writing something similar to Reba McEntire and Linda Davis‘ Grammy-winning duet, “Does He Love You,” about two women in love with the same man, along with Lee Ann Womack‘s “The Fool,” where she meets the woman with whom her husband is having an affair. But Carly and Ashley were intentional about not placing blame on anyone involved in the tricky situation.

“We thought, ‘what if we don’t call the guy a crap sack, and what if we don’t call each other a cheap slut? What happens? What’s the story then?"” Ashley recalls of the writing process. “What if it’s two women that are exhibiting behaviors they never wanted to exhibit? And it is his fault that they’re doing it, but they don’t blame him. They just recognize it and go, ‘dadgum."” 

Just like the two women in the song have found themselves in a peculiar scenario, Ashley admits that she initially thought she and Carly were an “unlikely” match, referring to herself as a tattoo-covered fast-talker, while Carly is “softly spoken” and “well put-together.” But writing the vulnerable song allowed them to realize just how similar they are. 

“We aren’t likely pals, but man, did we hit it off. And then writing ‘Never Wanted to Be That Girl’ together just solidified our love for each other and our respect for each other more than anything,” Ashley says. 

“Never” is currently at #2 on country radio. It was named Music Event of the Year at the 2022 ACM Awards. 

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