Jake Owen has achieved an enviable measure of success in country music over the past few years. The singer, who is releasing 'Days of Gold' on Tuesday (Dec. 3), is grateful for his professional achievements, but truth be told, it's his personal rewards he's most proud of -- especially his daughter, Pearl.

Little Pearl celebrated her first birthday on Nov. 22. She arrived on Thanksgiving Day 2012, and since then has given her daddy an awful lot to be thankful for.

"I used to find myself feeling empty a lot," Owen tells People. "I spent almost seven years riding around on a tour bus chasing a dream."

Chasing the dream may seem glamorous to outsiders, but Owen reveals it's more of a roller coaster ride than it appears. "You go out and play a show and people scream and sing along," he muses. "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."

But nowadays, Owen's mood no longer plummets after a show. The singer brings his baby girl on tour and keeps the show rolling by singing to her after he leaves the stag. "Now I look forward to getting back on my bus, so I can sing ‘Old MacDonald’ to Pearl," he admits rather adorably.

Clearly, Pearl is his favorite audience.

At 32, the country star has a renewed sense of purpose and perspective. Owen advises, "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."

He adds, "I have a lot more substance in my life now."

Pearl has quickly adapted to tour bus life -- in fact, it's where she took her first steps at 10 months! "She’s already walking the length of the tour bus," Owen spills. "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!"