It was only a year ago that the Band Perry -- comprised of siblings Kimberly, Reid and Neil Perry -- were trying to get their first single, 'Hip to My Heart,' off the ground. Fast-forward a year and the trio are opening for superstar Alan Jackson on his fall tour, and nominated for their first-ever CMA Award, for Vocal Group of the Year. And they admit it all still feels a bit surreal.

"We were at Sbarro Pizza at the airport in Charlotte, N.C., at 9:00 AM," Kimberly tells Billboard of the moment they found out about the nomination. "A girl from our label called, and we said, 'Are you sure?'"

She was sure. The group join Little Big Town, the Zac Brown Band, Rascal Flatts and Lady Antebellum in vying for the coveted trophy. While they're thrilled with their quick rise to stardom, they say it's the result of hard work from everyone on their team who is helping them achieve such rapid success. Signed to the label Republic Nashville, Kimberly says they owe a lot of their early achievement to label head Jimmy Harnen, who joined them through much of last year as they visited radio stations all across the country. "For a Nashville major-label president to come out with us was huge," she adds.

"It takes a village to break a band, and that's what happened," Jimmy acknowledges. "We started visiting radio last year, and they haven't stopped since. We've concentrated on visiting everybody in all forms of the entertainment sector from radio to online and retail. There have been a lot of trips to New York, Los Angeles and cities in between, giving the band a chance to share their music and have people talk with them. It's really paid off."

The trio's second single, 'If I Die Young,' is already proving the band's staying power. With over 530,000 downloads and more than six million views on You Tube, the pensive tune, penned by Kimberly, has quickly become a fan favorite. "That song works on so many levels and means different things to different people. It was just one of those songs that you felt like was meant to be on planet earth," she tells The Boot. "So many people work so hard for so long and for whatever reason are not able, or don't have the opportunity to access their dreams. So for us it was a statement of you know what, if it all ends at this moment for whatever reason even at our young ages, we've gotten to live and love so well and so completely. And that's what it means to us."

The group, who have already opened for several big country acts, including the Zac Brown Band, Keith Urban, Brooks & Dunn and Darius Rucker, say that they feel fortunate to get such a positive reception when they perform their music live. "People already knew some of the songs because of the EP," Reid Perry says of the enthusiastic response the group receive at live shows. "I don't even think we had the back half of the album recorded when we hit the road."

The brothers and sister just finished their first full-length album, which includes the song 'Postcard From Paris,' co-written by former 'American Idol' judge Kara DioGuardi. The Band Perry's self-titled debut album hit stores today (October 12). Check out their fall tour schedule here.

More From TheBoot