"The Driver," the first single off of Charles Kelley's upcoming solo album, has earned him a 2016 Grammy Awards nomination in the Best Country Duo / Group Performance category (although it's Kelley's debut solo release, Dierks Bentley and Eric Paslay join him on the song). And while Grammy nods are nothing new for Kelley, who makes up one-third of Lady Antebellum, a group that has won seven of the 11 Grammy Awards they've been nominated for, this particular nomination -- Kelley's first as a solo artist -- is a big deal.

"I'm still in shock ...," Kelley says. "I feel like I'm just getting started on this journey, so to get honored in this way and share it with Dierks and Eric is incredible. I'm so thankful to my producer, Paul Worley, who encouraged me to chase this record down."

As Kelley alludes to, releasing "The Driver" -- a tune that Kelley describes as "like a Crosby, Stills and Nash story song" -- was never a sure thing.

"We went into the studio to record it with no agenda," Kelley tells The Boot. "I thought, maybe it'll be the start of the next Lady Antebellum record, maybe we'll scrap it, maybe I'll pitch the song to other singers."

Kelley has been working on his solo album while Lady Antebellum take a brief break, and his bandmates are nothing but supportive.

"We've been doing this together for so long now, and we've been watching everybody develop in some really cool and unique ways and watching everybody develop and find things they are really passionate about," Dave Haywood tells The Boot. "We talked about having a little time off, and it was like, 'You know what? If we're going to have a little break here, let's all be able to do what we want during that break and support each other in whatever that may be.' So I'm excited for him."

And getting that support from his bandmates is crucial for Kelley.

"I wouldn't have done this without Hillary [Scott] and Dave giving me their blessing," Kelley says. "Lady Antebellum will always be my focus."

"The Driver" is available for download on iTunes and Amazon.

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