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Hunter Hayes: Grammy Nomination for Best New Artist Is 'Really Big Deal for Me'

December 7, 2012 (3:57 am) GMT
The 'Wanted' hitmaker says his three nominations seem 'unreal,' but he is particularly 'blown away' by the Best New Artist nod because he represents country artists.

The nomination list of 2013 Grammy Awards featured musicians from varied genres and got to represent country music. Grabbing three nods in total, the 21-year-old singer thinks the Best New Artist nom is the most special for him.

The Louisiana-born artist tells Billboard that he's "blown away" to be included in the said category because "it's really cool to represent country artists and wave the flag for the genre." He adds, "That's a really big deal for me."

He is also proud to be mentioned alongside , , and . "These guys have all paved their own road, they're doing something different with all their heart and soul. I can't believe that I'm considered as part of that group," he gushes.

Hayes has had some achievements earlier this year with his self-titled album "" and its single "Wanted", but the Grammy nods top all of them. "When 'Wanted' went to No. 1 [on the Country chart] that was a major milestone for me. The CMA [Best New Artist] Award was, I mean, just totally huge in a whole different category. And then now this," he says. "I'm gonna go ahead and restart my calendar now - it's kind of hard to top that."

In addition to the Best New Artist nod, Hayes is up for Best Country Album and Best Country Solo Performance at the upcoming Grammys. Tweeting after the nominations announcement on Wednesday night, December 5, he shared, "Still celebrating with the team. Cannot tell you all how excited I am and how honored I am to get THREE nominations tonight. UNREAL! :D"

The 55th Annual Grammy Awards will hand out trophies for the winners in a gala to be held February 10, 2013 at 8 P.M. EST. The show will broadcast live on CBS from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

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