Luke Bryan has some advice for up-and-coming country stars making the leap to the CMT Music Awards stage Wednesday night (June 10), remarking that it wasn't so long ago he was in their shoes.

Speaking with reporters after rehearsing for his "Kick the Dust Up" performance, the now-star summed up what his first CMT Awards performance was like: "You’re just freaking out."

"This is your big chance. Anytime you get an opportunity like that, it’s a big deal," Bryan tells CMT. "That was a big deal for me. It was nerve-wracking, I remember. But you get through it, and you learn that you can’t be perfect every time."

“Sometimes you’re human, and you’re gonna mess up every now and then,” he further adds. “Country music fans are good enough to cut you some slack.”

The superstar has made leaps and bounds since his debut in 2007, releasing No. 1 albums and platinum-selling sings and even headlining his own string of stadium concerts this summer. But when he looks back, he doesn't think about how long it took.

“I don’t look back over the time that it’s taken me to get here and think of it in terms of years,” he insists. “I think of it in terms of, ‘Did I achieve what I wanted to? Am I loving this?’ It’s been an amazing journey since this all started, all the way until today.”

Bryan will be rooting for this year's crop of new artists like a Thousand Horses, Kelsea Ballerini, Frankie BallardChris Janson, Maddie & Tae and RaeLynn when they get their big opportunity on the CMT Awards stage, and the "Rain Is a Good Thing" hitmaker just hopes they'll try to take it all in.

“I love watching all the new artists, because I remember myself being in that position," he says. "You have to relish it, love it, enjoy it, and make the most of it.”

The 2015 CMT Music Award air live Wednesday at 8PM ET.

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