A slimmed down Lee Brice could be seen almost everywhere in Las Vegas during Sunday's Academy of Country Music Awards -- even if he was harder to recognize. Lee has a new, trimmer physique as he promotes his new hit single, 'Beautiful Every Time.'

"I had a blast in Las Vegas," Lee tells The Boot. "Fremont Street (where Lee performed on Friday, April 1) was the highlight of my trip. The crowd was great and we just had a fun time doing that show."

Lee also participated in the first NRA Country/ACM Celebrity Shoot, hosted by Blake Shelton at Nellis Air Force Base on Saturday (April 2) outside Vegas.

"Just being at the base was cool," the singer says. "It was for a good cause and I was honored to be considered a peer with the other people who were there. I grew up hunting so I felt at home with a shotgun. You've got to be quick to hit those targets, though!"

Lee didn't have much time to enjoy Las Vegas, however, he was back on the road in Sacramento, Calif., on Wednesday (April 6) and then took a red-eye flight to Ocala, Fla., that night for a gig on April 7. He's just finishing a tour with best bud Jerrod Niemann, which he says was a fun time for both of them.

"I was looking for it to be fun but it is far surpassing my expectations," Lee says. "We have been sold out in almost every venue, and every show has been a blast. We've been hanging out, writing songs and catching up. We hardly ever get to hang out because usually we're both on tour in different directions. It's just been great."

Lee and Jerrod have just six dates left on the Higher Education tour. They'll be in Knoxville, Tenn., April 14; Clarion, Pa., April 15; Davie, Fla., April 21; Bradenton, Fla, April 22; Sebastian, Fla., April 23 and Live Oak, Fla., on April 28.

Lee is also looking forward to another road trip: the Willie Nelson Country Throwdown tour, with Jamey Johnson, Randy Howser, Craig Campbell, Brantley Gilbert and Lukas Nelson.

"I've opened for Willie a couple times and he's always a sweetheart," Lee says. "I hope to get some hang time with him while we're on the road. There are some great artists on the tour."

When asked if he thought Jamey or Randy might get him in trouble, Lee replied quickly, "I might be the one to get them in trouble!"

The singer says he has been under a strict regimen on the road which includes eating healthier and keeping in shape. "I've been running three miles a day to warm up and then I do a hard core circuit and hit the pads. My trainer is teaching me mixed martial arts, and it's amazing what you can drop with three five-minute rounds of that kind of exercise! I feel good and my energy is up."

Lee's single, 'Beautiful Every Time,' is a tune that should touch just about everyone who hears it. He says his songwriting buddy Rob Hatch had the idea for the song after he went back to his hometown in Florida and realized just how much he had missed the beaches and the sand dunes. "It's such a true song. We put his story in the song just like he told me, and then we took it to other places in the second verse. It really is a universal song."

Lee says he's also enjoying having his audience sing his songs, including 'Beautiful' and 'Love Like Crazy,' back to him during his live shows. "I've been working a long time for that to happen to me," he admits. "It was why I started to write and play when I was a kid. It just feels good to have the people singing along."

Lee hits the road with Willie's Country Throwdown tour on May 27 in Philadelphia, Pa. See his tour dates here.

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