Rodney Atkins hosted his sixth-annual Music City Gives Back event on Tuesday night (June 7) to help kick off CMA Fest in Nashville. Backstage before the event, the "Eat Sleep Love You Repeat" singer took a few minutes to chat with us about what it means to him — and when we can expect new music!

MCGB was bigger than ever in 2016, bringing Lanco, Canaan Smith, Craig Campbell and Dustin Lynch to the stage to benefit W.O. Smith School. The big event moved from Broadway to 5th and Demonbreun, which helped cool things off — Atkins said it even felt like an "air conditioner" despite 80 degree temperatures. He was all smiles as he discussed the event's growth.

“It’s a free concert!” he says, laughing. “These great acts that show up every year when we put up a call … they step up. That’s what’s incredible about Music City and the artists here. I think that these guys are aware of what W.O. Smith School does for kids. Bottom line: it’s the people that keep showing up every year. Every year it’s about the people. I just cherish this and I’m so fortunate I get to be a part of it, I get chills thinking about it.”

Outside of giving back, Atkins reveals that working "night and day" on his new music and promises that it's coming very, very soon.

"I’m excited. I’ve been writing more for this than ever before," he shares excitedly. "I’m really, really proud and excited. A lot of these songs — I feel like I had a chance to really craft some great songs.”

The 47-year-old is also scouring music from talented songwriters to round out the album, which he describes it as one cohesive package instead of several songs.

“It’s a whole package. It’s not just one song," he explains, his excitement over what's to come infectious. "I’m just excited! It will probably be I’m thinking the end of the summer when we we’ll come out with a new single.”

For now, fans can check out Atkins' greatest hits album, which holds 11 of his biggest singles to date as well as his latest, "Eat Sleep Love You Repeat."

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