Henny Ray Abrams/AP
Brenda Rodriguez and Mark Gray
May 17, 2008 06:45 PM

Before hitting rehearsals for the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas this weekend, Keith Urban told a local radio station Saturday that he can’t wait to become a father.

“I’m very excited about it,” Urban told KCYE in Sin City. Although the singer is not sure of wife Nicole Kidman‘s exact due date, they do know the baby’s gender. “But I’m not saying,” he added. “I’m glad we found out though, because it brought it home, you know what I’m saying.”

Urban, who is nominated for entertainer of the year at Sunday’s award show, has descended on Vegas – along with many of country music’s biggest stars – to prepare. “I’m not worried about anything,” Urban said about pre-show jitters. “I feel so grateful for this year.”

Even though Kidman skipped Urban’s rehearsal at MGM’s Grand Garden Arena on Saturday afternoon, she is expected to attend Sunday’s show.

During the afternoon rehearsal Urban, wearing a plaid shirt and baseball cap, appeared to be in a great mood, bobbing his head to the music. After the first run-through of the song “Tu Compania,” Urban said, “That’s fun!”

As part of the performance, several lucky fans surrounded the singer, creating a country mosh pit of sorts. “Do you’ll know all your parts?” Urban joked with the excited fans.

“We love you!” yelled one female fan.

And by all appearances, Urban loves them too, turning out a foot-stomping performance and flashing a huge smile when he finished his 40-minute rehearsal.

The country star was also joined by new artist nominee Sarah Buxton during his rehearsal performance. (And, in turn, Urban made a surprise appearance on stage with Buxton Saturday evening at New Artists’ Party for a Cause where the duo performed two songs.)

As Urban prepares for fatherhood, he’s not alone among his country music pals. Joe Don Rooney of Rascal Flatts is also set to be a dad for the first time. His wife, Tiffany Fallon, is due “any minute,” he said.

At the Home Depot Celebrity Golf Tournament, Rooney told PEOPLE, “I might be putting on the fourth hole and get that call and I’m off on a plane. She’s ready to get this baby out.”

As for Urban, Rascal Flatts lead singer Gary LeVox says he expects him to be a hands-on father. “Keith is such a passionate person,” LeVox said. “He’ll be a great dad for sure.”

The Academy of Country Music Awards airs Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. Also airing Sunday is the PEOPLE Country Special on CMT. Check out a preview here:

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