Jon Pardi was asleep yesterday (Thursday, February 16th) morning when he was awakened by dozens of texts and phone calls from people congratulating him on his ACM Awards nod for New Male Vocalist. This is Pardi's first time to be nominated, and he tells it's very validating. ["Getting nominated is amazing. It's a great feeling and I stuck to being myself and who I wanted to be and not change and to be recognized for that is awesome. It's a great feeling. I've been to the ACMs about five times. I'm really looking forward to this one. It's always a good time, and it's just gonna be a good party. It always is."] SOUNDCUE (:27 OC: . . . It always is.)

Kane Brown, Chris Janson, Chris Lane and Brett Young round out the New Male Vocalist category.

The 52nd annual ACM Awards will air live from Las Vegas on CBS on Sunday, April 2nd.

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