Luke Combs was nominated for New Artist and served as a presenter at this year's CMA Awards in November, but last year, the rising star watched the show from the couch.
"A year ago," he told People, "I was watching TV, eating pizza at a buddy of mine's house, and we were talking about how I was hopefully going to be there next year."
The singer has had quite the year, releasing his debut album and watching his first two singles hit No. 1 on the U.S. Country Airplay chart. He's also currently headlining Don't Tempt Me with a Good Time Tour, which will continue into next year. That tour is now sold out, and Combs said that his fans have "drastically" changed his life.
"I mean, in all facets," he said. "Getting recognized at truck stops and rest stops. The whole tour is sold out. We sold out Billy Bob's in Texas, which is 5,500 seats. We sold out my first arena in a week, which is back in my hometown of Asheville, North Carolina — almost 8,000 tickets. We sold out in a week."
Combs explained that he thinks his fans can relate to him because of his casual nature.
"I think that I'm just a regular guy," the singer shared. "I think people can really relate to that. I'm very non-threatening. And I don't mean that in a disarming way. I mean that in a way that says, 'Hey, that could be my buddy that I hung out with in high school.'"
Next year, Combs will be included in the Country Music Hall of Fame's "American Currents: The Music of 2017" exhibit, which details the previous year in country music.
Photo Credit: Twitter / @LukeCombsMusic