Devin Dawson is anominated artist going into the 2018 ACM Awards, and when he hits the red carpet for the awards ceremony, it will mark another very special first for the rising star. Dawson will walk the red carpet with his girlfriend for the very first time.

Making the day even more special, the ACM Awards happen to take place on her birthday, Dawson tells Taste of Country Nights.

"I would love for her to be at every single thing I do," the singer-songwriter says. "But she obviously has her own career and her own life, too, so she can't come to everything. But that one, it was, 'You have to be here for this.' It's just really fitting."

They met in college while attending Belmont. She is a pop singer-songwriter, "so we understand each other," Dawson shares. "It's nice to have somebody that understands how crazy this life is, the support I need, and how much support she needs from me. And we do that for each other."

Dawson's debut single, "All on Me," recently reached No. 2 on Billboard's Radio Airplay chart, and he has just been revealed as Taste of Country's first RISER for 2018. He gave us an exclusive intimate performance of "Asking for a Friend" and sat down for an interview about his long road from being the bassist in a metal band to country stardom.

"It's crazy to see the momentum that happens once you finally put out a single and finally put out an album, and you start finally touring all the time, and you're going to radio and you're going to press, and you're doing everything and it all works together," he reflects. "When your head is down and you're just working every day, it's nice to see these little or big wins along the way. It really helps us stay motivated."

Dawson is scheduled to perform at the Taste of Country Music Festival in Hunter, N.Y., in June as part of a year of touring that will see him on the road with Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

Taste of Country Nights is a syndicated night show which airs on more than 100 radio stations nationwide. Listen to highlights on iTunes or your Android device.

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