More than one year after the release of his debut album, the celebrations have not slowed down for Sam Hunt.
The 31-year-old country phenom is headed to his first GRAMMY Awards on Monday, where he's nominated for Best New Artist and Best Country Album for Montevallo. ET caught up with Hunt at the GRAMMY in the Schools Live event on Thursday night, where he performed with a group of GRAMMY Camp Jazz Session students.
"When I was growing up, I didn't necessarily have very many opportunities to discover and cultivate whatever musical ability I had," he confessed. "I think it's really important and really cool that we do have people that are dedicated so much to these kids, and helping them develop into the musicians that they have the potential to be."
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Regardless of the awards outcome on Monday, Hunt will definitely be hitting the stage along with Carrie Underwood to perform her hit single, "Heartbeat," on which he sings harmony.
"I hope that I stay out of her way," Hunt joked. "She's so talented and experienced with the GRAMMYs, and she's just such a phenomenal performer that I'm just going to try and just fit into her thing instead of vice-versa."
Cheering him on from the audience, Hunt's parents and manager will be joining the country star as his dates.
"They're just those kinds of parents. They've been coming to everything that I've been doing since I was young," Hunt gushed, adding that the event holds special meaning for he and his manager, Brad Belanger. "[He] has been there from the beginning. He's like me, he as waiting tables about five years ago and I was doing odd jobs, as well."
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With Montevallo officially certified double platinum earlier this week, Recording Academy president Neil Portnow couldn't say enough great things about Hunt as a role model for this year's GRAMMY campers.
"He's young, he's somebody that youth look up to even in his early stage of his career," Portnow said. "He's a great example already to inspire the next generation of music makers, and it's exciting for them to see Sam at an event that otherwise is, you know, a little bit institutional -- but you got the real deal there."
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