updated 01/30/2014 AT 3:00 AM ET
•originally published 01/30/2014 AT 7:00 AM ET
Casey Thrasher, 22, a father of two young children from Tuscaloosa, Ala., recalled his unexpected yet inspirational meeting with Urban after the CMAs in 2012.
“You were humble enough to come over and speak to me. You said, ‘I believe in you, brother,’” Thrasher said, before launching, appropriately enough, into an emotional performance of “Believe” by Brooks & Dunn.
“You’re a mix of hunger and desire and desperation and want you just want to get a dang break,” said Urban, before handing the teary-eyed singer a golden ticket. “From the chain link fence at the CMAs to Hollywood.”