By Courtney E. Smith

Between Jay and Bey’s on-stage honeymoon and the Mackledonna marriage, rising country star Hunter Hayes had a big GRAMMY moment tonight. Nominated this year for Best Country Song, Hayes got to do something very few artists have ever done: debut a brand new song on the telecast. The performance of “Invisible,” a new piano ballad off his forthcoming second album, was accompanied by visuals of quotes of affirmation from the likes of  John Lennon, Steve Jobs and Lady Gaga.

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Radio.com sat down with Hayes in L.A. at the GRAMMY Museum during GRAMMY weekend to discuss the song’s touching inspiration and how he came to debut it in such a prestigious setting.

“‘Invisible’ is a totally new concept for me,” Hayes explained. “I always write about something pretty personal, [but] this sets a new standard for me. I didn’t go in to write this song necessarily, I went in to write something else. [Songwriters] Bonnie Baker, Katrina Elam and I ended up writing about how we all, in different ways, can relate to the message of being an outcast, being misunderstood, being… essentially bullied. I say that very carefully because I know there’s a lot of people who go through that on a much larger scale. In whatever way I can relate to it, the song is about that. It’s about disappearing among the crowd, not having a place to fit in, being different you know? Being a music geek in high school, middle school, [and] now, I’ve just now gotten comfortable with the fact that I can call myself a geek and be proud of it.”

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Read more and watch a video interview on Radio.com.