He had stepped on that stage many times before. But this time, it just felt different.

Scotty McCreery was preparing to debut his song “Five More Minutes” for the first time on the Grand Ole Opry stage, and he knew that if ever an audience would feel the emotion of the song, it would be the audience gathered there on that special night in June of 2016.

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“As soon as I started singing, I could tell the song was going to hit them as much as it had already hit me,” Scotty told Rare Country on Nov. 27, minutes after his rehearsal for the Hollywood Christmas Parade pre-parade concert. “When I was up onstage, I could see that the crowd was singing it word for word, so that’s always a good sign.”

Of course, most die-hard fans of Scotty’s know the story of “Five More Minutes.” It was, in fact, a song co-written by Scotty as a tribute to his late grandfather, Bill McCreery, who passed in January 2015 at the age of 86.

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The moment was so emotional and so perfect that it earned Scotty a nomination for the Grand Ole Opry Moment of the Year in the inaugural Rare Country Awards, pitting him against fellow nominees Cole Swindell, Carrie Underwood, RaeLynn and Toby Keith.

“The day I wrote that song, I tweeted that it was my favorite song I had ever written,” Scotty says. “And even now, it’s a song I believe in more than any song I have ever done in my career. I will work my tail off in 2017 for that song.”

If you believe that Scotty’s “Five More Minutes” moment deserves to win, be sure to vote! Head on over to today! Winners will be announced on Dec. 15.

Tricia Despres is the contributing editor for Rare Country, based out of Chicago, Illinois. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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