Kelsea Ballerini was one of the first people to hear about her nominations for New Artist of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year at the 2015 CMA Awards. The 22-year-old was reading the nominations, along with Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, on live TV, and she says that the moment was incredibly intense.

"I was on national TV. Steven Tyler is beside me, which is already too much anxiety together in one situation," Ballerini recalls to The Boot. "He gets to New Artist, and he says my name, and I freak out. Then he goes to Female, and says my name, and you just hear me go, ‘That’s not real. That’s not real,’ like 75 times.

"I’m so new that I think it’s such a faraway thing," she explains.

The "Dibs" singer, who attended the CMA Awards as a fan last year, says that she has a "fairy princess"-style outfit picked out for her first CMAs as a nominated (and performing) artist.

"It’s sparkly. It’s a one-of-a-kind dress from Australia. It’s my first CMA Awards, and I wanted to kind of show off and have a cool dress," Ballerini explains. "I’m third row this year ... I’m so excited."

The rising star's date for the ceremony will be a very special guest as well: Allie Allen, a 17-year-old who is battling brain cancer.

"She just finished radiation, and she starts chemo in a couple weeks," the singer explains. "Beautiful, most stunning, amazing girl.

"She’s missed out on a couple things in high school, and that’s not fair, so she’s coming with me," Ballerini continues. "My stylist pulled all these beautiful dresses for her ... She’s going to look stunning. She’s so beautiful.

"It’s my first CMA Awards, and I want it to be as special as I can make it be, and I knew having her there would be very memorable," Ballerini adds. "It can’t be a bad night."

The 2015 CMA Awards will air live on Wednesday, Nov. 4, from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena at 8PM ET on ABC.

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