Brett Young knows his response to his New Artist of the Year nomination at the 2018 CMA Awards might sound cliche, but he means it: It's an honor just to be nominated.

"From the bottom of my heart, the most important part is the nomination, in all honesty," he explained to The Boot and other outlets at a recent press event.

"Once you find yourself in a category like this, everybody deserves it at that point, in my opinion," Young goes on to say, adding that taking home the trophy would simply be an added perk. "Actually winning? It's so flattering, so incredible. But I don't think it's any more [flattering or incredible] than just getting down to that final five, where you're in incredible company."

As a young musician spending the bulk of his time on the road, touring and promoting his music, Young was always aware of the immediate gratification from his fanbase; however, the weight of receiving recognition from the Nashville music industry took a little longer to sink in.

"It took a while for me to figure out the difference, because we spend so much time writing the record and recording the record and booking the tour -- we're doing all of that for our fanbase," he explains. "Getting that validation from your fanbase is 90 percent of your life as an artist. You forget that there's this whole country music family in Nashville because you're never home."

So, being recognized by his peers represents a new milestone in his career: "To come home and get that news, to get what I would call the nod from the country music family, it's a real coming-of-age thing for me," Young adds.

"I remember my first award show, two and a half years ago, and I was freaking out, going 'What am I doing here? I don't belong here. I don't know anyone, and nobody knows me,'" he remembers. "Two and a half years later, being on a ballot like this, it's flattering in a completely different kind of way. It's validating in a different way. It's just really special."

The 2018 CMA Awards are scheduled to air on ABC on Nov 14, 2018 at 8PM ET. The ceremony will take place live at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.

The Boot will be staying up late covering the most buzzed-about winners, fashion and moments at the 2018 CMA Awards. Readers can watch along with us by checking back to TheBoot.com for the latest CMAs headlines, liking The Boot on Facebook and following The Boot on Twitter.

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