Darius Rucker can still vividly recall when his first two CMA Awards nominations came. The year was 2009, and he was up for Male Vocalist and New Artist of the Year, after moving into the country genre following his time with '90s rock band Hootie & the Blowfish.

"When I got nominated for the first time, it was that first clue that I was really being accepted into the genre," Rucker recalls. "Country music was really accepting of who I was and what I was doing. That was huge for me."

Rucker won one of those trophies, too: New Artist of the Year.

"I still remember that like it was yesterday," he admits. "That was one of the greatest moments of my musical life."

In addition to his two CMA Awards nominations in 2009, Rucker has since earned two other nods at the annual awards show: In 2012, he was up for Musical Event of the Year, for "Stuck on You," his collaboration with Lionel Richie, and in 2013, his single "Wagon Wheel" earned him a Single of the Year nod.

The 2018 CMA Awards are scheduled to air on ABC on Nov. 14, at 8PM ET; the ceremony will take place live at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood will host the ceremony for the 11th year in a row.

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

This story was originally written by Gayle Thompson, and revised by Angela Stefano.

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