Russell Dickerson wasn't expecting his 2018 ACM Awards nomination for New Male Vocalist of the Year. He wasn't expecting it so much, in fact, that when the congratulatory messages started pouring in on the morning of March 1, when nominations were being revealed, he didn't get it.

"I woke up to about 20 text messages saying 'Congrats!'" Dickerson recounts to the Boot. "I was like, congrats for what?"

It took the "Yours" singer a few moments to put two and two together; when the news clicked, however, Dickerson was over the moon.

"I was like, 'Holy crap!'" he says with a laugh. "My wife was still asleep, so I woke her up and was like, 'We're going to the ACMs!' I was freaking out. We were not expecting that at all."

Dickerson isn't exaggerating when he says that his wife, Kailey, has just as much to be proud of as he does in his musical career: Not only is she the inspiration behind his love songs, but she is also a talented videographer, and she directed and produced the "Yours" music video. (She also took the photo that accompanies this story.)

Dickerson, who is up against Luke Combs, Devin Dawson, Kane Brown and Brett Young in the New Male Vocalist category, knows the competition is fierce. If he couldn't vote for himself, the singer says, he would vote for Combs.

"The category is for vocals, and his voice is so huge and powerful," Dickerson explains. "I'm a Luke Combs fan, for sure. His songs are crushing it on the radio. He's got his thing and he sticks to it, and I have a lot of respect for that."

While, of course, Dickerson is hoping for a win in Las Vegas this April, he also recognizes the importance of soaking in the moment, and is quick to acknowledge how much he appreciates the achievement of having been nominated.

"It was so much fun to have a little victory celebration," he says. "Just being nominated is a victory."

The 2018 ACM Awards are set to take place in Las Vegas, Nev., on April 15, and air live on CBS beginning at 8PM ET. The ceremony will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

The Boot will be staying up late covering the most buzzed-about winners, fashion and moments at the 2018 ACM Awards. Readers can watch along with us by checking back to for the latest ACMs headlines, liking The Boot on Facebook and following The Boot on Twitter.

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