Rodney Atkins' fans know he's one of the most approachable stars in country music -- the type of guy who'll happily stick around after a show to sign autographs, pose for pictures and spend time with his fans.

Even though he's currently enjoying the most successful single of his career, don't expect Atkins to change. As he revealed during a recent interview, he learned the importance of those personal connections early -- thanks to none other than Garth Brooks.

"Garth influenced me to believe that no matter what your dream, you had to chase your dreams and you could get there," Atkins explained to Taste of Country. "I believed him. He got to me on that level. I always loved to sing, but I never thought I could get up in front of an audience and sing."

Of course Atkins eventually realized his dream, and learned through Brooks about a stars connection with fans. "Everywhere you go, someone has something [exceptional] to say about Garth, how he went out of his way to help someone," Atkins continued, listing some of the icon's better-known good deeds. "He really impacts people on a very human level."

Ironically, Atkins has only met Brooks in person once, but he came away suitably impressed by his hero's warmth. "I was trying to get back before they came back from a commercial break. So I was carrying [my son] and I looked up and there was Garth. He turned around square in front of me with those bright eyes and smiled real big and said ‘Rodney, hey man, What’s up? How you doing?’" he recalled. "I was just floored. He’s just that genuine."

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