This year's CMA Awards will be "Unforgettable" for Thomas Rhett.
Aside from being nominated for two awards, Wednesday's awards show will also serve as a moment away from home for the country star, 30, and his wife Lauren Akins during the coronavirus pandemic.
"We've tried to do date nights this year, but they always consist of us going to the basement and watching a show together and then coming back up and doing our kids," he tells Jeremy Parsons for PEOPLE (the TV Show!), referring to their children Willa Gray, 5, Ada James, 3, and Lennon Love, 8 months.
"But yeah, we get to get out and watch live music for the first time this year and get to work together, which [we've] never gotten to do in the past," he adds, referring to his wife of eight years. "I think we'd definitely call this a date night for sure."
It'll be a big night for the two. Akins, 31, is set to present an award while Thomas Rhett is set to perform "Be a Light" alongside Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott and Chris Tomlin.
"I wrote that song last year just about hatred on Instagram, to be honest with you … And then this year started to happen," he says, referring to the track. "I think there are some words that people should definitely hear. And I think there are families that needed to be encouraged. And I know that through my life, I've been definitely encouraged by music."
Check out PEOPLE's full CMA Awards coverage to get the latest news on country music's biggest night.
"I do believe that it heals people and that slogan 'be a light' has become such a staple in our home and in a lot of other homes across the world," he adds. "Just really grateful to have been a part of the song that I think brought a little bit of healing to certain people."
Thomas Rhett, who's up for male vocalist and musical event of the year, also says he's always in awe when he sees himself nominated for awards.
"Every time I'm nominated, it's a complete shock and surprise just because there's so much talent in country music," he says. "Anytime that my name shows up on a ballot, I just feel very blessed and very thankful for it."
"We're very excited to be here and very excited to be performing on the show and getting to sit with each other and watch some live music," he adds.
Thomas Rhett is a two-time CMA Award winner. He took home the song of the year award in 2016 for "Die a Happy Man" and music video of the year in 2018 for "Marry Me."
But how has he changed since his start in country music?
"Oh man, well, he's a dad now. So that's probably his biggest change," says Akins. "On top of juggling life at home that we have, he's clearly doing really well in his career. I'm really proud of him."
"We're just happy to be able to get to do this. They've done a fantastic job at getting all of this together and keeping people safe and as minimalistic as possible, but they're executing it well," she adds about the coronavirus-related precautions. "We're just thankful that we're getting to do this and get together and have this musical event because I think everyone needs it and has really missed it."
The 54th Annual CMA Awards are airing live from Nashville on Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.
Catch PEOPLE (the TV show!) Monday through Friday. Check your local listings for exact times or stream the show every day at 7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT on PEOPLE.com and PeopleTV.com.
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