But if he wins best country duo/group performance on Monday, the new dad will not be on hand to accept the award.
The decision comes after Kelley and his wife Cassie welcomed son Ward Charles on Thursday — six days ahead of his original due date. In the week leading up to his son’s birth, Kelley, 34, told PEOPLE attending music’s biggest night was still up in the air.
“I told [Cassie], ‘I do not have to go,’ and she goes, ‘No, I want you to go, Charles. This project means the world to you — this is a big moment for you,’ ” he said.
“If I do go to the Grammys, I’m going to just have to bite the bullet and have a little private plane waiting in the wings.”
Source: Charles Kelley/Twitter
On Monday, Kelley took to Twitter to confirm he wouldn’t be attending. “Haven’t gotten out of my robe for two days. wish I could be [at the Grammys] today but my boy [Eric Paslay] representing in case we win,” he tweeted.
Other than the hectic timing of their baby boy’s birth, the first-time father felt pretty confident about parenthood. After spending much of his time surrounded by kids — brother Josh Kelley and his wife Katherine Heigl have two daughters while Lady Antebellum bandmates Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood are also parents — Kelley admitted he had plenty of experience.
“I feel really prepared. I know that sounds so naive, but I have a lot of nieces and nephews,” he explained. “I’ve been around Dave and Hillary’s babies on the road a lot.”
And Kelley has also dedicated time to brushing up on his baby skills on his own, which has included YouTube tutorials on swaddling. “That is the most astonishing thing,” he joked. “Babies are going ape s— [and] all of a sudden get them into that tight burrito and they just shut down. It’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.”
All the baby prepping had a few surprising perks, said Kelley — especially when it came time to learn about breastfeeding..
“We had a lactation nurse come over and talk to Cassie about all the different things and apparently, I’m supposed to massage her boob a little bit,” he shared. “I was like, ‘I can do that!’ ”
And while Kelley was clearly thrilled about welcoming his son — “We’ve been waiting for this moment for what feels like our whole marriage,” he said — the Lady Antebellum singer was worried about one thing.
“The only thing that scares me is the lack of sleep. I am such a baby when it comes to no sleep,” he explained. “Sleeping and vocal health go in the same category. I can always tell when I’ve been on the road and haven’t gotten any sleep.”
But even the potential all-nighters with a newborn didn’t deter Kelley’s excitement.
“I know how to do the rest of the things — I’m not grossed out by any of the other stuff,” he said. “I feel like I’m going to be a good dad. I love kids so much.”
— Anya Leon with reporting by Danielle Anderson