04/19/2010 at 01:00 AM EDT
>• Up for six Academy of Country Music Awards on April 18 (airing 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS), the Nashville star, 26, reveals her vocal heroes.
He's my No. 1. I really believe the stories he tells about cheating, drinking and jail. His voice is so smooth, it's like whiskey.
When I started writing songs at 17, I found Alabama Song. It taught me I had something to say. Her voice has a heart in it.
I tried out for this musical, The Tammy Wynette Story, when I was 16 and was picked as a backup.
I accidentally plagiarized him on "Kerosene" because he's such an influence. He has half the royalties, so we're all good.
It sounds contrived to mention (my boyfriend), but he's an amazing vocalist. We both sing around the house.