Brett Kissel opens up about family and what he learned during the coronavirus pandemic

The dad of four picked up the JUNO for Country Album of the Year on Saturday night

In the summer of 2020, back when there was so much uncertainty we were all feeling and experiencing about COVID-19, Brett Kissel went out on the road on a special drive-in tour. The 31-year-old country star played more than 20 sold-out shows across Canada, and raised not only thousands of people's spirits, but also hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities and food banks along the way. 

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On May 14, Brett – who picked up the JUNO for Country Album of the Year for What is Life? – told HELLO! Canada the drive-in tour has become "one of the most meaningful" of his life because it taught him about the importance of resiliency. 

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"[It] showed me, in a big way, that there's no rules anymore, and the way I maybe thought my career had to be or the direction that I should be moving, it doesn't matter," he said in the press room after winning his award. "You can do whatever you want and try to make a difference in a unique way... we kept everybody safe and played all of those great shows, and it was very special."

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The pandemic has prompted many of us to focus on what's important, and Brett has also expanded his family since that tour and recording What is Life? He and his wife Cecilia are the parents of four children now, and he told media outlets his lovely family influenced the LP in a big way. 

"My family is everything... because if you look at what we endured over the last couple of years, that was my saving grace," the proud dad said to the press. "My wife and I, we really, really enjoy simplifying things, organizing our lives and focusing on the things that really matter, which are not the materialistic things." 

WATCH: Brett was also nominated for Single of the Year for "Make a Life, Not a Living"

"Make a Life, Not a Living," one of the album's standout songs, hit number one on the Canadian country charts. With lyrics like "you can't take nothing with you when you go," Brett said it best exemplifies his family's approach. 

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"We really doubled down our efforts on our family, and my family had their fingerprints all over that record," he sweetly shared. 

Congrats to Brett on this latest incredible achievement! 

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