Cody Johnson may have five ACM Award nods under his belt, but there are two honors that he’s vying for the most: Album and Entertainer of the Year.

“It’s two different things. Album of the Year, that’s a win for me, Trent Willmon, Jack Clarke, Cris Lacy, Scott Gunner, all the musicians that were on the album, my band that was on the album [and] our radio team that has worked so hard for our singles to be successful. That’s like a group win. And so, that means a lot,” Cody tells ABC Audio.

“Personally, Entertainer of the Year, because I want to say that I am,” he shares.

Winning the night’s highest honor goes beyond a vanity endeavor. For Cody, it’s all about his passion for live shows and connecting with fans in person through music.

“That’s what I take the most pride in. The stage is where I’m at home. It’s where nothing is wrong, everything’s under control, and it’s all right here. For 90 minutes, the world is perfect. There’s no anxiety. There’s no worry. There’s no stress. There’s no problems,” says Cody. “Where I feel the happiest is right there in front of people.”

“So when you see me onstage, if I get emotional, if I shed a tear or if I’m laughing my butt off, those are real, raw emotions,” the Texas native shares. “To spend so much time giving that to people and them giving it back to you, that’s a beautiful thing and it would be great to be recognized for that.”

You can stream the 59th Academy of Country Music Awards, hosted by Reba McEntire, live Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on Prime Video.

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