Zac Brown wasn't always into country music. "I didn't think I liked country music. Then I got into Garth Brooks," the Grammy Award-winning lead singer of the Zac Brown Band tells CMT. With siblings more than 20 years his senior, Brown says he was left to listen to whatever music they tuned in to. As a result, he often heard songs 20 to 30 years older than he was.

In a turn of country music fate, however, one of Brown's bluegrass-inclined brothers introduced him to the No. 1 selling solo artist in music history, and Brown never looked back. "I remember the first time I heard 'The Thunder Rolls.' It was dark and we were driving to the beach. There was the thunder outside and the thunder in the song. It was eerie," he recalls.

Who knows what would have happened if the 'Chicken Fried' singer had never been turned on to Brooks' iconic sound? Perhaps we'll never know, but what we do know is that Brown and his band of southern rockers have an impressive number of notches in their country music belt, and Garth Brooks is partially to thank.

Be sure to watch the Zac Brown Band's performance at the 2011 CMA Awards tonight, Nov. 9. The band, who are currently working on their next studio album, will also be ringing in the New Year with fans at a show at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Ga.