"Oh, just 'genuine,'" Bryan, 39, told E! News at the 2015 CMT Artists of the Year event in Nashville on Wednesday.
"Is that good?" he added. "That's the first time I've ever been able to do that, with one word. I couldn't say 'asshole.' That's two words.'"
Both he and Shelton, 39, were honored at the event. This marked the first such award for Shelton, while Bryan has received the honor several times before.