Jon Pardi is excited to become a first-time father.
When speaking with Fox News Digital, Pardi expressed how excited he is to have a daughter with his wife Summer Duncan, joking he is not looking forward to when she is in high school, but is comforted by the fact that will not happen for quite a few years.
“You know what, I’m excited, I’m not really nervous. I’m not ready for high school, but that’s a long ways away,” Pardi said. “I’m excited! I’m not getting any younger, it’s time to have kids.
“There was a while we thought we weren’t going to be able to have kids and then bam,” he continued. “We went down to Key West to finish the record, sing the vocals, came back with a baby, so thank you, Key West, Florida you are awesome, can’t wait to come back.”
JON PARDI, WIFE SUMMER EXPECTING THEIR FIRST BABY TOGETHER
Pardi is also celebrating his two CMA Award nominations this year, as well as the opportunity to pay tribute to one of his idols in country music, Alan Jackson.
“I feel like it’s always goals. You get nominated, or you don’t get nominated, you still come, and you see everybody nominated, and you’re like, ‘I want to be there one day,'” Pardi said. “I feel like that’s what awards are for. It’s for progress, it’s for achievements. I feel like as an artist you always want to get it next year, I’ll show them next year and a lot of the awards have that, and I feel like it’s always been a goals thing, and you get to see your heroes. It’s a fun time.”
At this year’s show, country music artist Alan Jackson is receiving the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award, one of the most prestigious awards in the country music industry. Jackson is someone Pardi has looked up to since he was a kid, which is why it means so much to him to be able to participate in a tribute for him during the ceremony.
“He’s always been somebody I looked up to as a kid that didn’t know anything about the music business or songwriting, I just loved his sound and his songs. Then you start playing in bands, and he’s still there just cranking out hits,” Pardi said. “Alan Jackson is one of the best songwriters in the business, and he writes it like it is. I always compare him to Merle Haggard. I feel like Alan and Merle are very similar in the way of their writing.”
Fresh off the heels of his breakthrough successful album “California Sunrise” in 2015, Pardi was invited to go on tour with Jackson, something he found validating, remembering feeling better about some of his less successful records because Jackson was now a fan of his.
“I went on tour with Alan Jackson in 2015, and that was right in between the album that didn’t do so well and ‘California Sunrise,’ but Alan took me on board and that was kind of like, ‘Well hey Alan likes me,’” Pardi explained. “We’ve done a couple of things in the past, so it’s gonna be a good reunion, and a good send-off because I know he wants to retire soon.”
This year’s show is also set to honor legendary country singer, Loretta Lynn, who died earlier this year at the age of 90. The show will start with a tribute to Lynn, sung by Reba McEntire, Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert.
Pardi recalled meeting Lynn briefly a few years ago, saying he admired her for always sticking to her guns and being herself no matter what anyone said about her.
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“I’ve always loved Loretta Lynn. She was bold, she stood out, she didn’t give anything about what people thought, she just did her stuff,” Pardi said. “I got to meet her one time. It was at my buddy Kid Rock’s house, and I got to shake her hand. She probably didn’t remember, but we’re all here in her spirits.”
Aside from Lynn and Jackson, Pardi’s musical role models include Jerry Lee Lewis, who passed away towards the end of October, shortly after being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
With all the tributes and performances, Pardi is certain this year’s CMA Awards is going to be a good one, calling it “a stacked show.” He was particularly excited about Luke Bryan and Peyton Manning coming together to host the award show.
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“Luke is always fun. I just went to his charity thing we did, and we had a blast. He’s just a fun guy, and he’s always been a great entertainer,” Pardi explained. “He’s always made great records and what you see it what you get. Luke’s funny, he’s fun, he likes to take care of people and the moment we see each other it’s hugs and laughter.”
The 2022 CMA Awards air live on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.