"I have an amazing relationship with my kids," Zac Brown tells PEOPLE of his five children

By Aili Nahas
Updated May 27, 2020 12:05 PM
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Zac Brown
Andy Sapp

When it came to celebrating his son Alexander's sixth birthday in early May, Zac Brown knew just how to mark the occasion.

"We set up our whole property like [the video game] Fortnite and had a party," says the Zac Brown Band frontman, whose other four children, Justice, 13, Lucy, 12, Georgia, 10 and Joni, 9, with ex-wife Shelly, were on hand to join the fun. "Military crawls, obstacle courses ... we had an awesome time."

And it's not lost on the 41-year-old musician, whose debut solo album, The Controversy, drops on Friday, that pre-quarantine, excesses of family time were often hard to come by.

"I've been grinding for 22 years without taking a break," says Brown of life on the road with the band, whose recent album The Owl, is available now.

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Zac Brown and ex-wife Shelly
Evan Agnostini/Inivison/AP/Shutterstock

"I put my kids first always, and I put them first when I'm making my schedule, but it's kind of erratic. So to be home and just be really super present and consistent with my kids has been great for them and it's been great for me," he says.

In between time spent writing music in his at-home studio, Brown's days with the kids on his sprawling property outside Atlanta have been filled with playing games, scavenger hunts, riding his Land Cruiser through the field and "tromps through the woods."

On co-parenting with Shelly, from whom he split in 2018 after 12 years of marriage, "I couldn't have a more amazing mom for them," says Brown. "They're our first priority and they've got steadiness and love from both sides. Our kids are a product of all the love and time we give them."

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And Brown says he plans to continue to relish in those extra moments.

"I feel the best when I've gotten them to bed and that all five of them have had the best day I could provide for them," he says.

"Maybe they learned something or maybe they feel a little closer as a unit together," Brown continues. "When they're happy and secure, there's nothing more important than that."

For more from Zac Brown, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.