Jake Owen: This Year Has Brought ‘Substance’ to My Life

11/27/2013 at 01:00 PM ET

This Thanksgiving, Jake Owen is positively giddy over all his blessings.

“It’s been the most amazing year in my life so far,” says the country singer, 32, who celebrated his first wedding anniversary with wife Lacey in May, while their daughter Pearl turned 1 on Nov. 22. “It’s just been an awesome first year of our life together.”

Bringing his girls out on the road means he’s not missing any of it.

“She’s already walking the length of the tour bus,” says Owen of Pearl, who started walking at 10 months. “To see that excitement on her face when she realizes what she’s doing, it’s just the coolest thing. The greatest part is that I was there to see it!”

Jake Owen Pearl PEOPLE Country Courtesy Jake Owen

It’s just one of the many moments Owen, who releases his new album Days of Gold on Dec. 3, treasures these days.

“I used to find myself feeling empty a lot,” he admits. “I spent almost seven years riding around on a tour bus chasing a dream. You go out and play a show and people scream and sing along, but then the show is over, and you go back to the bus and sit there alone. It’s like going from the highest high to the lowest low.”

“Now I look forward to getting back on my bus, so I can sing ‘Old MacDonald’ to Pearl,” he adds. “You can chase the dream all you want, you can make as much money as you want, but if you don’t have anyone to share it with, you’re not quite as far along as you thought. I have a lot more substance in my life now.”

Jake Owen Pearl PEOPLE Country Courtesy Jake Owen

To read more from Owen, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE Country, on newsstands now.

— Danielle Anderson

Related Video: Jake Owen: Pearl ‘Has Made Me Less Grumpy’

FILED UNDER: Babies , Exclusive , Jake Owen , News , Parenting

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment

PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 5 comments

Emily on

I like Jake, but I wish he’d cut that hair. It looks like he hasn’t washed it in days every time I see him on TV.

Lisa B on

Awwwww, I love her little smile!! So glad for Jake and the family! Glad he’s found fulfillment! Enjoy! 🙂

Pammy on

How adorable!

Charlie on

SBJ he is pretty and what and absolutely beautiful little girl!!

Marky on

Love Jake’s look! Don’t know what some of you think “washed hair” is supposed to look like, but his hair looks fine, and so does he. His little girl is adorable; what a little doll! Such a sweet attitude Jake has……