Keith Urban performed bright and early this morning (11/9) in front of Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on ABC’s Good Morning America to kick off the CMA Awards day in Nashville.

Keith has won 13 CMA Awards since he won his first one in 2001. Back then, the award was called the “Horizon Award,” it’s now called “New Artist.” Just a few years after his first win, Urban won the top award at the CMAs, scoring Entertainer of the Year in 2005. He won the honor again in 2018.

We talked to Keith this week and asked him which Entertainer win meant the most. He replied with a laugh, “Both! It’s Entertainer of the Year. It was amazing.”

He says his first win in the category made him a bit skittish. “It was surreal in ’05, and I was actually very scared to win that award in ’05 because that felt like peaking way too soon. And I was like, ‘I’d like to stick around a while if that’s okay with everybody, and this felt way too soon.’ I felt like I was being sent off into the sunset prematurely. I couldn’t grasp the honor that it was because I was so nervous about my desire to have a long career.”

Urban says he really wasn’t ready for it at the time. “I didn’t want it to kind of just come and go really quickly. I was nervous that that award was too much too soon and that I hadn’t worked my way toward it. So, it was a weird feeling of huge honor to get it and then huge desire to be able to stick around a while.”

When he won Entertainer of the Year in 2018, he was well-established as a country superstar with years of experience. He offered, “The one in 2018 was incredibly sweet, an amazing feeling. So they both resonate really intensely with me for different reasons.”

The 56th Annual CMA Awards will air live on ABC tonight starting at 8 PM ET.

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