Keith Urban is an Entertainer of the Year nominee going into the 2018 CMA Awards, and it's been awhile for him. It's an honor he doesn't take lightly.

Urban won the accolade in 2005, the first year he was nominated for it, and that was the last time he won it, too. It was a major surprise to him when he heard his name called.

"I was shocked beyond shocked because my first thought was like, 'It's too soon,'" he tells Taste of Country backstage ahead of the 2018 CMAs. "I felt very scared, like, 'Don't peak my career now, I'm just getting started!'"

"I think it is such a family in our community that I just felt like, 'This is my first year being nominated.' You don't usually win the first year you're nominated. Usually the rhythm is you get nominated and 10 years later you finally win it, so I was really really shocked that it happened," he continues of his 2005 win.

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If he's to win EOTY on Wednesday night (Nov. 14), he thinks it will feel very different due to the 13 year time gap. The 2019 Taste of Country Festival headliner is also nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year for Graffiti U, and he's performing during the show.

Luke Bryan and special guests will open the broadcast performing his hit song "What Makes You Country." Later, Garth Brooks says he'll perform a brand new song for wife Trisha YearwoodChris StapletonThomas RhettJason Aldean and Miranda Lambert and more round out the roster of performances. Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley will serve as co-hosts when the 2018 CMA Awards air live on ABC at 8PM ET on Wednesday (Nov. 14).

Remember: The best way to watch the 2018 CMA Awards is on ABC, with ToC on your phone.

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