After all, he had to persuade his label, Capitol Nashville, to let him make the video for "You're Gonna Miss This," which is up for video of the year and male video of the year at Tuesday's show.
"The song was just a bonus track on a greatest-hits album. It was never intended to be a single," Adkins explained recently. "So when we put it out as a single, the folks at the record label - actually, I probably shouldn't even tell this, but it's true - they said 'It's not normally our policy to pay to make a video on the second song off a greatest-hits album.'
"I said, 'Well, I think the song needs a video,' so we did it and the budget was incredibly low," he continued. "We went back to my hometown and everybody in the video is somebody I know, a friend of mine. Everybody in the video lives in my hometown of Serepta, La.
"We went back there and went to my aunt's little diner and shot some stuff there. The whole thing was done in my hometown for like $147," he jokes. (The budget was low, but not that low.)
A poignant ballad about enjoying the moment and living life as it comes, "You're Gonna Miss This" topped the Billboard country chart for three straight weeks.
The 6-foot-6 Adkins, a 47-year-old former oil rig worker with a booming voice, is expected to sing it during the show.
Also performing: Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Sugarland, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Def Leppard, Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker and Kellie Pickler.
Sugarland leads all the nominees for the fan-voted awards with five, followed by Brad Paisley and Taylor Swift with four each.
Sugarland is nominated twice for duo video of the year - for "All I Want to Do" and "Already Gone." They also received two for "Life in a Northern Town" with Little Big Town and Jake Owen: collaborative video and performance of the year.
Their final nod is video of the year for "All I Want to Do."
Paisley's "Waitin' On a Woman" is nominated for video of the year and male video of the year. He's also up for collaborative video for his duet with Keith Urban, "Start a Band," and for performance of the year for "Country Boy" with Alan Jackson, George Strait and Bentley.
Swift's "Love Story" is nominated for video of the year and female video of the year, and her performance of "Photograph" with Def Leppard is nominated for performance of the year and wide open country video of the year.
Viewers cast more than 2.5 million votes to decide the four finalists in most categories.
The video of the year competition was done a little differently. CMT has identified 10 nominees so far, and it will announce the finalists at the beginning of the awards show. Fans can vote for their favorites throughout the show.
For a complete list of nominees, visit the 2009 CMT Awards.
AP Writer Caitlin King in Washington contributed to this report.
By John Gerome