Shortly before taking the stage to perform on Good Morning America on Wednesday morning (Nov. 2), Dierks Bentley got some good news: "Different for Girls," his collaboration with Elle King, was named the 2016 CMA Awards' Musical Event of the Year.

Both Bentley and King admit that the industry recognition for "Different for Girls," which recently became Bentley’s 15th No. 1 single, has been more than either of them expected.

“It’s a big deal. To go from playing on Broadway [in Nashville] to right now …” Bentley reflects. “This song, I lost a lot of sleep over it being a single, because I was just scared to death people weren’t going to get it, or it was just too much for people to handle. To be nominated is a huge deal … There are a lot of collaborations up.”

Adds King, "I didn’t ever expect it, but now, looking back, I’m singing with him, so it’s like, ‘Oh, of course that would happen.’ But it’s a total honor."

The success of “Different for Girls” is especially sweet for Bentley because, he concedes, the tune is unlike any of his previous hits.

“Over the years, I’ve just tried to think one step ahead of where I usually stop thinking,” he explains.“It’s a song that’s open for dialogue; it makes you think about one thing, makes you think about something else … It’s a crazy song. That’s why I put it out there, just to put out something different.”

Bentley is nominated for three other trophies at the 2016 CMA Awards — Album of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year and Music Video of the Year — and while the country star certainly hopes to walk away from the ceremony with an armful of trophies, he says that simply being nominated made him a winner.

“I’ve been nominated a lot … I love nominations,” Bentley says. “I feel like this sounds like a cliche to say, but you get a chance to walk on the stage every night, for 10, 12, 15,000 people — it’s a pretty good award, right there, every night. You have a lot of respect for your peers. It’s awesome to be nominated.”

In addition to his pre-CMA Awards performance, Bentley will also be taking the stage to perform during the awards show itself. The 2016 CMA Awards are set to air live from Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 2 beginning at 8PM ET on ABC.

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