BRELAND Tearfully Opens Up About His First Award Show Nomination: 'I Don't Take It for Granted'

The country music rising star is nominated for three CMT Awards at this year's award show

BRELAND. Photo: Nolan Knight

BRELAND is award show nominated!

On Wednesday, the 2022 CMT Music Awards announced its nominations list for this year's award show — and within that list were three nominations for the rising star. Shortly after learning the news, BRELAND spoke to PEOPLE about the honor.

When asked how he felt after the announcement, BRELAND, 26, said, "I don't even know what to think! I got the news and I was immediately sobbing. I was just a wreck."

Holding back tears, the "My Truck" singer added, "I hoped that I'd get it together before this call happens. I'm just truly, incredibly grateful to be nominated for this."

He also said he's "had a lot of great opportunities" but as a new artist, he didn't think he would be "nominated for anything this early." "I don't take it for granted at all."

BRELAND. getty

Immediately after nominations were announced, BRELAND called up his parents to tell them the exciting news — and they "all cried."

"They've been here since obviously literally day one. And they're musicians themselves and they have always been such a big support of what I'm doing," he said. "And now that we're starting to see some of the dividends that that hard work is paying, I just feel like I owe it to them to make sure that they're the first ones to know. Because they're my biggest support."

The country music star is nominated for three awards total: breakthrough video of the year for "Cross Country," and CMT performance of the year twice, one with Mickey Guyton and Gladys Knight on "Friendship Train" and the other with Nelly, Kane Brown and Blanco Brown on "Ride Wit Me."

For BRELAND, being honored for his work feels extra special, considering projects like "Cross Country" tell his story.

"It was a concept that I came up with myself," he said. "And it plays with the idea of what would happen if I never put 'My Truck' out. What would my life have looked like if I hadn't put the song out. If I hadn't pressed upload. And now, it's become so clear to me that this is what happens when you do it."

As for his work with Guyton, 38, on "Friendship Train," the singer feels "so gracious" to her for welcoming him in, "that is truly the result of black country artists making space for other black country artists."

At the end of the day, BRELAND feels grateful for the nomination, and told PEOPLE, "I don't do what I do for the recognition. But when you get the recognition, it's just so special."

At last year's award show, the singer hit the stage for a performance with Guyton and Knight, marking his first-ever award show performance. And now as a nominee, he's coming back with "a lot more experience and a lot more swagger."

The difference between now and one year ago? "I just have a much clearer understanding of what it is that I bring to the table and what it is that I'm called to do."

For now, he plans to celebrate by watching March Madness and having a "glass of wine" while he watches the game and fills out his bracket.

"It'll be good to relax and pop one with my homies," he said.

Looking ahead, BRELAND will release his debut album in June and he's "excited" to "show people what I've been working on and what I've learned and how I've grown since moving to Nashville."

"If you've enjoyed anything that I've done thus far, you're going to love the album," he said. "And if you haven't enjoyed anything that I've done thus far, I think I'll be able to convert you."

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