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"Kelly is phenomenal, that's why I wanted to record that song with her," Jason told The Boot after Wednesday's CMA nominations press conference in New York. "At the same time, sometimes if you try to go back and recapture the same magic, it doesn't always work. So the song would really have to be something that I felt strongly about and I felt would work. That song was so big, and such a big song for my career, that I would hate to make it not be as special as it is because we're trying to do the same thing again. I love Kelly's voice, she is one of my favorite female singers, ever. I love what she does and I would love to work with her again, if it makes sense."
Jason himself was recognized quite notably by the CMA for his solo work. His "Dirt Road Anthem" is nominated for Single of the Year, and the father of two is also up in the Male Vocalist and Entertainer categories. While everyone wants to win, he wouldn't mind losing to a fellow Georgian.
"Luke [Bryan] and I are really good friends; away from the music business, we're buddies," Jason confesses. "I know how hard he's worked to get to this point in his career and I know he's having a great year. If I'm not going to win, I have no problem losing out to someone like him. There's people that you wanna see win and ... not people that you necessarily don't want to win, but there's other people that you'd rather see win. We're just like everybody watching it at home, trust me!"
Luke agrees, adding there won't be any fighting words between the two. "It will all just be friendly banter, back and forth with one another," the "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye" singer adds, referring to the Male Vocalist title. "Whatever success he has is my success and vice versa. We've just enjoyed being here and giving good news to all the artists."
It's a good thing Luke isn't nominated against Jason for Entertainer, though, because that's one award the "Take a Little Ride" singer has his eye on.
"Entertainer of the Year, to me, that's a touring award," Jason explains. "We've had a great year on the road. Every show that we've had this year has sold out and it just means that you've got fans everywhere that are willing to come out and see your show. It's something that you can go out and sell out shows consistently everywhere in the country and that's the deal. It's guys like Kenny Chesney that are able to do that, and people that have won that award. To me, that's the biggest one there is. I'd be lying if I said that wasn't one I'd like to get my hands on. If not this year then some point before my career is over. That's really the big one for me."
See if this is his year when the 46th annual Country Music Association Awards, hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, air live, Nov. 1 at 8:00 PM ET on ABC. See a full list of 2012 CMA Awards nominees here.