According to Kelsea Ballerini, she's already a 2017 CMA Awards winner, and the ceremony is still a few days away. The singer says being nominated in the Female Vocalist of the Year category -- especially alongside talent such as Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntireMaren Morris and Carrie Underwood -- and having the opportunity to collaborate with the legendary McEntire makes her a champion regardless of who actually takes home the coveted trophy.

"It’s my third year being nominated for Female [Vocalist of the Year], which is insane. But just to be thought of as one of the five females of this year in country music, that’s an award in itself -- it really is," Ballerini tells The Boot. "I used to think, when I saw interviews of people who were like, ‘It’s an honor to be nominated,’ I thought, ‘That’s a cop out!’ But it’s true, though; that’s really how I feel. I really think getting to perform on the CMAs is like an award. And so, getting to sing with a legend -- I’m so excited. Of course I’m nervous; I’m always nervous, all the time."

Ballerini notes that there are a number of other rising female stars who give her hope that the tide is finally turning, putting women on equal ground with men when it comes to radio airplay.

"Every year, there’s more and more females in country music, which is beautiful," Ballerini says. "Like Lauren Alaina, Cam, Carly Pearce -- there’s some serious female power on the radio right now, and so I’m just happy to be a part of it."

As for the day of the CMA Awards, Ballerini says she'll be far too busy to worry much about a possible acceptance speech or her performance with McEntire.

"This year’s going to be a little bit different because we’re doing GMA in the morning," Ballerini shared at a recent media event. "We’re doing three songs, and then [I'll] immediately come home and get ready for the carpet. It’s going to be hectic this year. But, I will say, I’m a homebody, and I really love being in my home. And so, getting ready at home, with just my friends that happen to do hair and makeup and dress me and everything, it’s really relaxing and really fun. And then you go to the carpet, and it’s crazy and awesome."

The 2017 CMA Awards are scheduled to air on ABC on Nov. 8, at 8PM ET; the ceremony will take place live at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. Brad Paisley and Underwood will host the 2017 CMA Awards for the 10th year in a row.

The Boot will be staying up late covering the most buzzed-about winners, fashion and moments at the 2017 CMA Awards. Readers can watch along with us by checking back to for the latest CMAs headlines, liking The Boot on Facebook and following The Boot on Twitter.

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