Cole Swindell has plenty to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, in his music career alone. The singer-songwriter spent 2016 celebrating No. 1 singles and hitting the road with Florida Georgia Line on their Dig Your Roots Tour -- and, if you ask him, it's tough to pick the best part.

"Every year for the past three or four years, I feel like I’ve said I’m not going to be able to top this year, and that’s okay," Swindell tells The Boot. "And my mom reminds me: 'Cole, if it doesn’t go any further, if it doesn’t get any bigger, just look at what you’ve done.’ And I know that.

"I don’t even know how to begin to say thank you," he adds. "Someone asked me the highlight of my year, and there’s been so many; I can’t pick just one."

Near the top of Swindell's list, though, is the success of his single "You Should Be Here," written about the loss of his father.

"This year, the experience I’ve had, knowing that a song of mine like "You Should Be Here" has touched as many people as it has, I’m so thankful for that," Swindell reflects, "and so thankful for this industry, and just all the people here that have allowed me to do what I love. I’m going to be forever grateful."

Almost everywhere Swindell goes these days, he gets recognized by someone -- but you won't find him complaining about his lack of privacy.

"I grew up a fan. I still am a country music fan, and I know what it would have felt like if anyone I looked up to would have come over and grabbed a picture or said hello," Swindell explains. "People always ask me, ‘Don’t you get tired of that? Doesn’t that get old?’ I think what’s really going to get old is, one day, when they’re not asking for it.

"You’ve got to look at it like, there’s a lot of people who would be wanting to go over there, take selfies and sign autographs and be able to do what we do. If you’re fortunate enough to have a platform like I’ve been given … you better use it for good," he continues. "There’s so many people, like Kenny Chesney, that I think we could all look up to and learn something out of his book. You don’t get to do what he’s done for this long and still be at the top of your game without, for one, being talented and working hard, but being a great person."

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