If you've been to a Taylor Swift or Carrie Underwood show, you know who Hunter Hayes is. He's the towheaded kid who has opened for the country music superstars on their respective Speak Now and Blown Away tours. But, his star just got a bit shinier. Hayes is up for three Grammy nominations (which were announced Wednesday night). And he kind of can't believe it.
Shortly after performing during the "Grammy Nominations Concert Live!!" show Wednesday night, the up-and-comer found out he'd be going home with a 2013 Grammy Awards nomination as well. "I was expecting to sit down and watch the rest of the show and they called my name not once, but twice, and then, after the show, we were like, 'Oh, by the way...' and then we were screaming and making a lot of noise and being obnoxious to everyone in the area," he told CMT shortly after learning about the nods.
And while he's up for two country music specific awards (Best Country Solo Performance for his track, "Wanted," where he faces off against Underwood and best Country Album for his self-titled debut), he can't believe he's up for Best New Artist alongside non-country artists like Fun., Frank Ocean, Alabama Shakes and The Lumineers.
"I am really pumped. I'm really excited. I'm honored to be representing, if you will, in the Best New Artist category," he said. "That's so awesome. There's a lot of cats in that category I'm a fan of, a little intimidated. It's unbelievable. I'm so grateful, so thankful, so blessed."
Wednesday night was a bit of a full circle moment for him. He learned about his nominations from former tourmate Swift in country music's homebase of Nashville. He added, "I came to Nashville to be part of that community and a hopeful dreamer. I still have crazy dreams and they come true every now and then you get lucky and they come true."
Who's your pick for Best New Artist? Leave your nominations in the comments!