It's pretty natural for fans to be starstruck when meeting their favorite country artists, but as Clay Walker revealed to The Boot during 2014 CMA Awards week, he felt the same way at his very first CMA Awards show.

"Reba McEntire and Vince Gill were doing a duet together on stage, and I just remember thinking, 'Oh my god, they really do sing as good live as they sing on the record,'" Walker recalls. "I’d never really met any stars before, and on that night, all the stars were there. I was so starstruck."

It was the early '90s, and Walker was a newcomer on the country music scene, but his debut single, 'What's It to You,' "was climbing the charts very fast," he says. (It eventually hit No. 1 on what is now the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.)

"he first time that a huge artist said something [to me], it was Garth Brooks, actually. He was walking down the hall, and he said, ‘Clay, love your new song,’" Walker remembers. "It just about floored me, and then you realize you’ve been welcomed to the club.”

But with the ever-changing musical landscape, Walker says that as an artist, it's easy to feel like you don't really belong, like you haven't yet "made it."

“It’s a growing process. You never feel worthy," he says. "After you have a few hits, it’s really the fans that make you feel like you’re a part of it, not the artists, although that’s a wonderful accolade when an artist does accept you.

"And now I've just been around long enough that they have to!" Walker adds with a laugh.

The 2014 CMA Awards air live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena tonight (Nov. 5) at 8PM ET on ABC.