Brantley Gilbert is definitely having a spring to remember. As his current single "One Hell of an Amen" continues to climb the charts (currently No. 25 on the Hot Country Songs chart), and his Just As I Am album inches closer to million-selling status each week, the Georgia native has recently began to reap some of the rewards of his success.
Just a few weeks ago, the singer was a big winner at the iHeartRadio Music Awards, where he took home the Renegade Award, beating out the likes of Meghan Trainor and Iggy Azalea. "We had a lot of fun," Gilbert told Billboard. "I don't know if I got worst-dressed at that one or not," he said in reference to being named to that list following the 2014 CMA Awards, "but I'm on a roll, so maybe so," he said with a laugh before turning serious -- and thankful. "It was an honor to win that award. We had a ball."
And, the awards season is far from over for Gilbert: He's nominated for a pair of Billboard Music Awards this month -- top country artist and top country album. He's grateful for the recognition. "It's always an honor to be nominated, especially with the company that we're in," he said, referring fellow nominees like Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Miranda Lambert. "It's something we are proud of."
Though Gilbert's music is definitely on the cutting edge of today's country spectrum, he welcomes the opportunity to meet some of the legends he listened to growing up. The recent Academy of Country Music Awards brought him a few opportunities to do so, when he crossed paths with Mickey Gilley and Jim Ed Brown. "I love it any time I see those guys around. I just have the utmost respect for them," he tells The 615. "You think about how hard it is to break into the business, particularly as out of the box as some of those guys are, and how long they have been contributing to the industry -- it's just an honor to rub shoulders with them and shake their hands. Anytime I get a chance to meet somebody like that, I jump at it."
Gilbert also jumped at the chance to be a part of Kenny Chesney's upcoming tour. He plans to observe the singer's game plan and learn from it. "I've seen his shows. I've been as a fan, and when you watch him perform, he's got things that he does to orchestrate an audience that is amazing. He can turn his audience into puppets, and I can't wait to watch his show from behind the scenes -- to see the things that he's doing, not only onstage, but offstage with his crew, and really finding out how the next level conducts themselves, learning from somebody who has done it successfully the way he was. Every time I've talked to him has been really uplifting and positive. That's got me really excited about this tour. I'm just thankful for the opportunity to learn from somebody like him."
And if that wasn't enough, Gilbert is in the process of planning his wedding to fiancée Amber. And, yes, he's taking an active part in the plans. "I'm involved -- as much as she wants me to be," he says. "I make sure I'm on hand when she needs me to be. It's going to be a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to it."