"I'll never forget that Zoom call as long as I live," the singer-songwriter told PEOPLE


Tenille Townes is reflecting on the moment when Keith Urban surprised her with her two awards prior to Wednesday’s Academy of Country Music Awards Show.

The 26-year-old country star received two pre-ACM awards — new female artist of the year and music event of the year — during a Zoom call with Urban in August. Prior to the call, Townes thought she would be doing a routine interview and got quite the shock when Urban appeared on screen.

Eventually, Urban revealed that he had crashed her Zoom in order to tell her about the awards. “For real?” Townes says in the video, still in shock.

“For real,” the “Blue Ain’t Your Color” singer confirmed. “No pranking.”

Tenille Townes
Tenille Townes
| Credit: John Shearer/Getty

While speaking to Jeremy Parsons for PeopleTV's Red Carpet Live: 55th Academy of Country Music Awards preshow, Townes said she’s “still freaking out about” receiving her awards from Urban.

“I’ll never forget that Zoom call as long as I live,” she said. “Hearing the news from him was so surreal, I still can’t believe that happened.”

Immediately after, the artist said her first move was calling her parents. “I was at my manager’s house and so we all kind of danced around the kitchen and celebrated and then I was like ‘Okay, I gotta call mom and dad,” she told Parsons. “I called them and they were in the vehicle and my mom was like ‘Hey what’s happening?’ I was like ‘Well, Keith Urban just called so.’”

“It was very cool,” Townes added.

Townes will be performing at the ACMs and said she will be “missing everybody” in the audience, as the seats will remain empty. Still, she added that she’s just excited the awards show is happening at all amid the pandemic.

“I am so excited that the ACMs are still happening and that we get to celebrate all of this,” she said. “I feel really grateful to be part of this country music community. I'm honored and I can’t wait for the show.”

Tenille Townes
Tenille Townes
| Credit: Jason Davis/Getty

This year's ACM Awards will air from Nashville, Tennessee, on Sept. 16 from 8-11 p.m. on CBS. Join our correspondent Jeremy Parsons from 7-8 p.m. for PeopleTV Red Carpet Live: 55th Academy of Country Music Awards, featuring interviews with nominees and performers backstage from the famous Grand Ole Opry, as well as an interview with host Keith Urban.