It was a deer in the headlights moment for Brett Eldredge when he was named CMA Best New Artist in 2014. “When they announced my name, I looked around the whole arena and it took me about 20 seconds to really figure out that everybody was staring at me and I actually won,” he tells PEOPLE.
Keith Urban explains his 2001 Horizon Award win this way: “It’s a pretty surreal moment. It’s like dream and life blur and just become one.”
For Dierks Bentley, however, it’s just a blur. “It’s been so long since I won a CMA Award!” he jokes. “The first one I won…was back in 2003 and I have no recollection. Way too many Jagerbombs between then and now – and kids.” (Bentley wasn’t kidding: His first win was really the Horizon Award… in 2005. On Wednesday, he picked up Musical Event of the Year with Elle King for their song “Different for Girls.”)
To hear more from Dierks and other stars like Reba McEntire, watch now!