Carly Pearce – the host of the 2023 ACM Honors – is opening up about her friendship with country music legend Tim McGraw.
In an interview with Fox News Digital, Pearce revealed how McGraw has stayed consistent since starting his country music career in the ’90s. McGraw is being honored with the Icon Award at the pre-taped event, which will air on FOX Monday night.
“I think he’s just as hard of a worker now as he was when he first started, and he’s also just a really kind person,” Pearce began. “He’s very humble and not that you don’t know that about him, I’m sure that everybody does, but just being another artist, I feel like he champions young artists and really tries to make them feel welcome and really is paying attention to what we’re all doing in the next generation.”
Pearce continued, “I think, not everybody does that, and I think he knows what he’s doing.”
The “What He Didn’t Do” singer also praised McGraw’s “impressive” physique, while honoring him as one of the biggest artists of all time in the country music universe.
WATCH: Carly Pearce reveals how Tim McGraw has inspired her career
“I mean, Tim’s one of the biggest artists of all time in our format. I think he’s always had great songs and always let the song lead, which I think is something that’s really important in country music,” Pearce said.
“Also, I mean, what I think is most impressive about Tim and what I look at as being so admirable is the way that he has continued to stretch his career over three decades and continue to evolve and change with the times and remained current and taken risks and done so many different things outside of music that has kept him relevant.”
She continued, “His name and star power grow in a way that not very many artists get to do. So, I’m just really impressed with all of that, and I’m also impressed with how good of shape he’s in. You know, it’s pretty nuts. [He] looks better than most people my age,” Pearce teased.
Carly and Tim are joining forces and heading on tour in 2024. “My ’90s country heart is beaming to be on this tour, so it’s very, very exciting,” Pearce said.
In July, McGraw announced his Standing Room Only Tour, which kicks off in March in Jacksonville, Florida. Pearce will join McGraw for all shows and the tour concludes in Phoenix, Arizona, in June 2024.
Pearce told Fox News Digital she’s grateful that McGraw thought of her to join him on tour, but she is hoping to form a friendship with his wife, Faith Hill.
“I just really want to be best friends with Faith, so I’ll let you know how that goes,” Pearce joked.
WATCH: Carly Pearce details her song ‘We Don’t Fight Anymore’
As for the ACM Honors, this is the third consecutive year that Pearce will be hosting the ceremony, and she will perform her hit song “What He Didn’t Do” with co-writer Emily Shackelton.
Another honoree at the 16th annual ACM Honors is Chris Stapleton, who Pearce praised as being “unapologetically himself” to Fox News Digital.
“Something that you don’t know about Chris is he has the sweetest and most talented wife ever, which I’m sure people know that too, but I love her. She and I have become dear friends, and she’s the whole reason that I have this collaboration with him. So thank you, Morgane,” Pearce said of Stapleton’s wife, Morgane.
“I think what Chris means to country music is he was able to unapologetically be himself,” she continued. “He’s never tried to chase radio. He’s never tried to put his artistry in a box or fence it in. He is one of the greatest singers of all time. I think he’s such a huge part of the reason that artists like myself, who maybe are a little left of center in a way that they write songs, were able to have a chance because he’s broadened the country music umbrella in a time where it was very pop, and now we’re seeing it turn very hard the other way.”
Pearce concluded, “I think he was on the forefront of that. So, I mean, he’s my favorite singer as far as a vocalist probably ever. If I’m being honest, he makes me feel things that I am just – I continue to be impressed with the way that his vocal presence just knocks me over.”
Aside from hosting the ACM Honors in Nashville, Tennessee, Pearce recently released her song, “We Don’t Fight Anymore,” which features Stapleton on the track.
Speaking on the inspiration behind the song, Pearce told Fox News Digital, “I’ve always been somebody that I think writes from real life experience and real stories, and I enjoy kind of giving people those uncomfortable moments that maybe nobody wants to talk about.”
She continued, “I think that this song really captures a moment that I think if people were honest, that they would admit to you that they’re either in that moment in their current relationship or they’ve been there, and I want people to feel things. This song, when I wrote it, it made me feel something real. And I think I was meant to tell this story, to make people be honest with themselves.”
The 2023 ACM Honors will be broadcast Monday, Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX and available to be streamed on Hulu the following day.