Brad Paisley and Eric ClaptonBrad Paisley has shared the stage and studio with some of music's biggest stars, including John Mayer, Keith Urban, Alan Jackson, Dolly Parton, Carrie Underwood and Alison Krauss. But the singer-guitarist admits there is one living legend with whom he's dying to collaborate.

"It's Eric Clapton," he tells CNN. "I've never even met him. If I say it enough, maybe he'll go, 'All right, fine, shut up! I'll do it!'"

Brad, who has enjoyed more than ten years as one of country's biggest stars, receiving three Grammys and more than a dozen ACM and CMA awards, remains aware his days as one of country's hottest commodities are numbered.

"There's a time that comes when you don't have their ear anymore," he acknowledges. "Eventually, that's coming, where they're going to be be tired of me. A large fraction of people are probably saying, 'Yeah, I know, buddy. I'm already there right now.' But that's coming, and I just hope that I can stretch this out for a long time. I'm 10 years into this, and I feel like people are just discovering me in a large way right now."

And while he says he isn't ready to ease into retirement just yet, he does reveal one part of the music business that he's just as soon give up. "You're just not prepared for some of the negatives that go with it, some of the criticisms that you hear, some of the ways that you are so vulnerable when you do this -- especially if you make music that matters to you. It's similar to rejection of anything you get in your life."

Brad, who's married to actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley and father to their two young sons, hits the road this year to continue his American Saturday Night tour, featuring opening acts Miranda Lambert and Justin Moore. His recent CD, 'American Saturday Night,' was recently named TIME's Top Album of 2009.