The singer was on-hand at Nashville's Grammy Nominations Concert, where it was announced that he will compete for 'Best New Artist' with fun., Frank Ocean, Alabama Shakes and Lumineers.
He spoke to Billboard following the telecast, admitting that he was "blown away" to receive the honour.
"I was kind of laughing because nobody knew," he recalled. "We were in such a hurry for the quick change between the show close and getting to our seats, I was kind of like, 'Dude we don't need to be there anytime soon!'"
Hayes continued: "As it turned out, we did and I'm glad we were. I was not expecting to go the Grammy nominations concert and to walk away with my name in there."
Previous 'Best New Artist' nominees include inaugural winner Bobby Darin, The Beatles, Mariah Carey, Sheryl Crow, Maroon 5 and Adele.
Hayes also earned nominations for 'Best Country Solo Performance' for his hit 'Wanted' and 'Best Country Album' for his self-titled LP.
The 55th Grammy Awards are to be held at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles on February 10, 2013.
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> Frank Ocean, fun. pick up six Grammy nominations each
Watch Hunter Hayes's 'Wanted' music video below: