With Taylor Swift, The Civil Wars, Little Big Town, Carrie Underwood and The Zac Brown Band making the genre proud Sunday night, ET's Rob Marciano and Rocsi Diaz caught up with singer Dierks Bentley to chat about the ubiquitous presence of country music this year.
"[Country] doesn't have to be a certain style," explains the 10-time Grammy nominee, up for Best Country Solo Performance for his hit Home this time around. "There's so many different styles of country music that it can bring anybody into the genre. It's really just about songs, about connecting people. It doesn't matter where you go, what country you're in, there's country fans all over the place."
Hunter Hayes, a recent breakout star in the country world, achieved what few country up-an-comers ever have this year, and that's snagging a nomination for Best New Artist (in addition to two other nods for his debut album, Hunter Hayes).
"It's very surreal. It's a huge honor," says Hunter of being recognized Sunday alongside The Lumineers, Alabama Shakes and Frank Ocean. "Across all genres, all the music makers, I'm blown away by it."