Maren Morris and Kelsea Ballerini may be competing against each other at the 2017 Grammy Awards, but the two country artists have nothing but love for one another. Both women are nominated in the all-genre Best New Artist category, and Morris couldn't be happier about it.

In 2017, for the first time since 2001, two country artists are nominated in the Best New Artist category. Although only one nominee will take home the trophy, Morris says that she's more than honored to share the category with Ballerini this year.

"The cool part of this genre is we all support each other," Morris tells Country Countdown USA. "Even though we will be against each other for that award, no one is looking at it that way. At least not Kelsea or I.

"I think getting nominated is the best part," the "My Church" singer adds. "At that point, you feel like you’ve won, because you’ve made it to that point.”

In fact, Morris was so excited when she found out that Ballerini was up in the same category, she quickly messaged the fellow rising star to congratulate her.

"I woke up to my phone buzzing like crazy, and I thought, 'That’s either good news or bad,'" recalls Morris. "When ... I saw that Kelsea was also in the [Best] New Artist category, I thought, 'I have to text her immediately,' so I texted her, and said, ‘We’re goin’ to the Grammys!’

"I think I was the first to tell her the news," Morris continues. "But it was so crazy."

Other artists nominated in the Best New Artist category are DJ duo the Chainsmokers, funk-R&B artist Anderson .Paak and hip-hop newcomer Chance the Rapper. Morris' nod in the all-genre category is one of four for her; she's also up for Best Country Album, Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance. But, whether she wins or loses, Morris says that the nominations are important validation in and of themselves.

"To have four nominations, including one for Best New Artist, it’s such validation because I’m in a pool with a lot of talent, and a lot of artists I love, including Kelsea," Morris explains. "So to be up there, I feel like I belong there, but it’s also humbling because I’m inspired by all genres, but to represent country is really cool."

The 59th annual Grammy Awards will take place in Los Angeles on Feb. 12. The Late Late Show host James Corden will host the televised ceremony, which will begin at 8PM ET on CBS; the pre-telecast Premiere Ceremony will begin at 3:30PM ET and be available to stream online.

The Boot will be staying up late covering the most buzzed-about country winners, fashion and moments at the 2017 Grammy Awards. Readers can watch along with us by checking back to for the latest Grammys headlines, liking The Boot on Facebook and following The Boot on Twitter.

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