Although he's new on the country scene as a solo artist, Kristian Bush is no stranger to the CMA Awards. As Sugarland, he and Jennifer Nettles have been nominated for 17 CMA Awards and won six times. But, as Bush told The Boot during 2014 CMA Awards week, the situation backstage took a little getting used to.

Dressing rooms and the backstage area at the awards show are separated into a spot for men and a spot for women, leaving Bush and Nettles to get ready in two different places.

"I was just sitting in a room by myself with a bunch of guys … they were all stars, and I was not," Bush says of the duo's first experience with the setup. "And I kept getting nervous, like, ‘Can I just go hang out with my friend? You know, ‘cause we’re in a band together?’"

But the gender divide isn't a hard-and-fast "no boys (or girls) allowed" rule, so Bush and Nettles worked around it.

"Eventually I started sitting in the girls dressing room and watching all this craziness go down," Bush says of the country ladies' hair and makeup routines. "I think people don’t realize that everything backstage, it’s like a giant locker room full of your favorite country stars."

Bush is not scheduled to make an on-stage appearance at the 2014 CMA Awards, which air live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena tonight (Nov. 5) at 8PM ET on ABC, but Nettles was added as a performer earlier this week.