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Florida Georgia Line on Their Five ACM Nominations: It’s ‘Very Humbling and Gratifying’

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Five nominations deep is how Florida Georgia Line rolls!

The country duo feels their “hard work is really paying off” after receiving the news of their Academy of Country Music Award nominations on Thursday for entertainer of the year, vocal duo of the year, album of the year for Dig Your Roots, single record of the year for their hit “H.O.L.Y.” and vocal event of the year for “May We All” with Tim McGraw.

PEOPLE chatted with Brian Kelley, 31, and Tyler Hubbard, 30, about their nods and their new singleGod, Your Mama and Me” with the Backstreet Boys — here are their thoughts:

You have five nominations, including entertainer of the year – that’s a big one!

Tyler Hubbard: Oh man, that’s so surreal for us — very humbling and gratifying. All of our hard work is really paying off and we can feel the love from our fans and the ACMs. To be in the entertainer of the year category is a dream come true — just to be nominated — so it motivates us to continue to work hard and push ourselves to be better artists, better husbands, better guys — all that stuff. It’s gonna be a big night for us. It feels like a big year, so we’re just excited to be a part of country music and the ACMs again. It feels great.

Brian Kelley: I was blown away. We’re just humbled. Five nominations is a ton and that feels really, really good. We work really hard; we spend a lot of time away from our families and we’ve put a lot into this thing because we love it, we love our fans and we love our music — we love this life that we get to live. It already feels like we’re winners, so to know that we’re nominated next to a whole bunch of people that we look up to — our friends, peers and legends — it’s crazy that we’re up in the mix still. God is really, really good to us.

How’d you find out?

Kelley: We were at breakfast together.

Hubbard: Our phones started blowing up and then I told BK to get on the Internet to see what everybody was talking about. He pulled it up real quick on his phone and we were in the top nominees for the ACMs. It was a big morning. It felt really cool and got us super excited for ACM night.

Woke up to five ACM nominations like…#wokeuplikethis -huge thanks to the @acmawards we appreciate the love!!

A post shared by Florida Georgia Line (@flagaline) on

What were your reactions to your nominations?

Hubbard: We were like, ‘Hey, do you wanna get some coffee?’

Kelley: That coffee turned into a mimosa real quick! (laughs)

 

And your new song “God, Your Mama, and Me” featuring Backstreet Boys is flying up the charts. This must be a childhood dream to get to work with them.

Kelley: You wanna know something crazy? Sixth grade House of Blues Orlando, Florida was my first concert ever — it was the Backstreet Boys. I got to go with a friend for my best buddy’s younger sister’s birthday. We got to somehow ride in a limo out to Orlando and got to see the Backstreet Boys play a little show. It was crazy. It was awesome, totally inspiring, and to see it come full circle really reminds us to keep dreaming, to dream big, to put out positive energy into the universe, shine your light, and try as hard as you can at whatever you’re great at and great things will happen.

That’s what we were reminded of when making this album — whatever success may come, you just keep dreaming and stay true to who you are, and go back to the well for more inspiring. I think choosing the Backstreet Boys was a very natural decision. They were Tyler’s first CD back in the day and they were everywhere.

Thoughts on showing up at the Backstreet Boys’ Vegas residency? It starts next month and the ACMs are in Vegas too…

Hubbard: Oh, that’s cool. That’s gonna be fun! You mean their Vegas residency or ours? (laughs)

Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley will return for the second consecutive year to host the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards Sunday, April 2 live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and airing on the CBS Television Network 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.