Colt Ford is celebrating a big first. The country rapper has been honing his craft of writing and performing his own blend of country music, as well as writing songs for other country artists. One of his tunes, 'Cold Beer,' has been recognized with an Academy of Country Music award nomination for Vocal Event of the Year with Jamey Johnson, which shocked Colt to the core.

"When I wrote that song, I had just met Jamey [Johnson], and we ended up writing a song on my first album called 'Tailgate,'" Colt tells The Boot. "When we were recording 'Tailgate' in the studio, I said, 'Man! I've got this other song that's really cool, and it'd be cool to have you sing on it.' I played him the song, and he just went in there and sang it. He didn't ask me for nothing. He didn't even have a record deal at the time, but it was literally just trying to make a honky tonk song with my buddy, Jamey Johnson. It was nothing more than that, and to be nominated is unbelievable. I never thought that would happen in a million years. To have that song with somebody who I think will go down as probably one of the greatest artists we've probably ever seen is pretty special.

"I doubt seriously that I'd ever have a chance of winning, because there are a lot of people up there who are really good," Colt continues. "I'm up against Zac Brown's 'As She's Walking Away,' [with Alan Jackson], which was a No. 1 song and phenomenal song, but we're up there. That means a lot of people are looking and songwriters and musicians saying, 'That's Colt Ford. We've got to give this guy some respect.' That means more to me than anything. I'd rather have that than a lot of awards. Awards are cool. I played professional golf for a living. I was a good athlete as a kid, and I've got thousands of trophies at my mom's house and they just collect dust. What I do have though is I remember playing those things and somebody telling me I did good."

The remaining Vocal Event of the Year nominees include 'Coal Miner's Daughter,' featuring Loretta Lynn with Miranda Lambert and Sheryl Crow; Uncle Kracker's 'Good to Be Me' with Kid Rock and Emily West's 'Blue Sky,' featuring Keith Urban.

Not expecting to take home the trophy, the Georgia native would love to win the ACM just for the sheer joy of being able to thank his wife for bearing with him through his music career, and staying home to take care of their children.

"I would love to be able to thank my wife for all the sacrifices she's made, and being sick the last five or six years and having to deal with what she's had to deal with and still raise our kids while I've been gone," an emotional Colt reveals. "That's something that a lot of people don't know, and I haven't been comfortable enough to talk about that for a long time because there's not really any sense on putting our troubles on somebody else. There's nothing anybody else can do about it, [but] I would love to be able to thank her."

As Colt mentions, most people are not aware his wife has been battling an illness for the past few years. "It's a disease called Morgellan's that's really unknown right now. It's a kind of flesh-eating parasite thing," he explains. "It's a bad thing, and the CDC gave $500 million to study it. It's pretty devastating, especially for -- I married way over my head -- and for somebody who modeled and who has always had unbelievable and stunning good looks, it's been hard. It affects people on their skin in different places. It's been on her face mostly. There have been awards shows where she's said, 'I'm not going. I just can't go to that.' There are two things it does: it hurts your memory and causes extreme fatigue. But again, I'm out here doing this and for the first couple of years, I wasn't making a dime. She's at home and still a working hairdresser and working all the time and taking care of our [two] kids. I owe her big time."

Colt has taken his wife to just about every doctor and specialist he can, and the two have been to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and multiple Mayo Clinics to try and diagnose the problem and try to find a cure. The iconic singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell announced last year she suffers from the debilitating disease, which is often misdiagnosed. For more information about the study the CDC is conducting, go to their website here.

In the meantime, with his wife's support, Colt has hit the airwaves with his brand new single, 'Country Thang,' from his forthcoming third album, 'Every Chance I Get,' due in stores May 3. The collection features several major stars, including Tim McGraw, Luke Bryan, Charlie Daniels, Craig Morgan and Eric Church.

The songwriter will also be arriving at radio with 'Dirt Road Anthem,' Jason Aldean's new single, which he co-wrote with newcomer Brantley Gilbert and was also featured on albums by both writers. Colt will be attending Sunday night's ACM Awards, which will air live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas beginning at 8:00 PM ET/delayed PT on CBS.