"I'm so proud to be, as you say, representing country music in the new artist category," said Hayes, who is also nominated for best country album and country solo performance. "I don't even feel worthy of saying that, but it's so cool for me to be able to say that."
Swift hosted the CBS special with LL Cool J and it featured performances by The Who and Maroon 5, who received multiple nominations.
The five-year-old nominations show spent its first year outside Los Angeles, making its debut in Nashville, Tenn., at the Bridgestone Arena. It marked the largest venue the show has been held in.
The 55th annual Grammy Awards take place Feb. 10 in Los Angeles.
AP Music Writer Chris Talbott and AP Writer Caitlin R. King in Nashville contributed to this report.
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