The country star says he's going to keep his first performance at the awards show low-key

By Jessica Herndon
February 07, 2009 12:30 PM

Right smack in the middle of preparing for his upcoming tour, which kicks off in April, Kenny Chesney has decided to warm up his vocals on the Grammy stage Sunday night.

Though this will be his first ever performance on the award show, Chesney says he isn’t nervous.

“Preparing for the Grammys is just a day of prep,” he tells PEOPLE at his rehearsal Friday, adding, “The surroundings are the same as all of the other awards shows so I’m kind of comfortable.”

Plus he’ll have good pals like Kid Rock there to cheer him on. “I haven’t seen him on this trip [yet],” chuckles Chesney. “I imagine we’ll go eat some sushi somewhere or something. See what we can get into!”

Though the reigning CMA and ACM entertainer of the year may party it up with his pal over the weekend, he plans to strip down his usual “high-energy” approach on Sunday. “People are so used to me doing the big performance with a lot of guitar and video screens,” he says. “The kind of song that I’m doing at the Grammys, I don’t do many songs like this even in my own show. It’s a departure for me, but I think it’s a good one.”

And just how happy would the country superstar be to take home one of those golden gramophones this year? “I’ve been lucky enough to win a lot of awards but this is one that is absent for sure,” Chesney, who is nominated for best country collaboration, says. “If I win I’ll find a pretty prominent spot for it.”

For more on Kenny Chesney – and a look inside his magnificent home – pick up PEOPLE’s special country issue on newsstands now!