Thomas Rhett is heading into the 2015 ACM Awards as both a nominee, for New Artist of the Year, and a performer. But whether or not he beats out fellow New Artist nominees Sam Hunt and Cole Swindell to take home the coveted trophy, Rhett says that he considers himself a winner.

"It’s my first ACM nomination, and it’s a huge honor," Rhett told The Boot and other reporters at a recent media event. "It’s cool to be in a category with your friends. I’m friends with Sam. I’m friends with Cole. I’m a huge fan of both of them, as people and their music, so going into that, I think it takes a lot of pressure off, because you know whoever wins that award deserves it. We’ve all been working hard. We’ve all been writing songs and putting songs out, touring all over the country.

"To win would be an amazing thing. It would be a career-changing thing," he continues. "But if you don’t win, you’re still considered one of the best new artists, so just to be nominated is a really cool thing."

Still, the "Crash and Burn" singer admits that he is already imagining what it would be like if he was declared the winner.

"I would think that it would be a very, very important moment," Rhett says. "Any time that fans or an industry can vote you in [and say], ‘We believe that you are the best new artist,’ it’s a huge deal. And that’s a ton of people clicking, 'Vote for whoever.' And so if the majority of those people end up voting for me, or Sam or Cole, whoever wins that award is fully deserving. I would think that would be one of the coolest moments of your career. It would almost be like having your first No. 1 song."

The fact that his first ACM Awards nod coincides with the 50th anniversary of the awards show, which is being held this year in Arlington, Texas, makes the entire experience even more significant to the singer.

"I can’t believe that my first ACM nomination and performance are going to be at the Dallas Cowboys stadium," Rhett says. "I was prepared for the MGM Grand [Garden Arena in Las Vegas], but I wasn't really prepared for this. It will be different."

Fans can vote for New Artist of the Year once per day through 8PM ET on April 19 — the start of the 2015 ACM Awards broadcast — at VoteACM.com. The winner will be announced that night during the show.

The 2015 ACM Awards will air live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on April 19 at 8PM ET on CBS.

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