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Sara Bareilles on her Grammy nominations: 'I've always had the imposter syndrome'

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Sara Bareilles

When asked about winning awards, many artists spout clichés about it being an honor to just be nominated. Sara Bareilles, though — who is up for two major categories at this Sunday’s Grammy Awards — really sounds like she means it.

“It just felt like validation, like acceptance,” Bareilles told EW of her nomination for Album of the Year for her 2013 collection The Blessed Unrest. “To put me among the other nominees… My peers in that category are—I mean, Taylor Swift is a juggernaut.”

“I’ve always had the imposter syndrome, like I don’t really belong here,” she continued. “I keep waiting for someone to tap me on the shoulder and be like, ‘Uh, you have to go.’ I think I’m finally relaxing a little bit about that. Love me or hate me, I’ve earned my place here. That’s how it feels. I think I’d be doing this whether I was able to be a Grammy nominee or not. This is the reason I think I got a turn on the Earth.”

She has been nominated a few times before, though these nominations felt different because Bareilles thought she was done with The Blessed Unrest. The tour had wrapped, there wasn’t going to be another single, and she was moving away from work as a pop star and into concentrating on her book and her work on the musical adaptation of the 2007 film Waitress. But rather than pull her back to focusing on music, Bareilles is treating her Grammy endorsement as a green light to pursue other things. “I really don’t want to come across as being blasé about how incredible and amazingly lucky I’ve been in my success so far,” she told EW. “I feel like I won the jackpot in so many ways, and that I’m not worthy of it. But I also want to keep it in perspective and maintain my focus on balance and leading a happy lifestyle too.”

Whether the new year brings any trophies for her mantle will be decided this Sunday at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, but neither loss nor victory will impact her reaching her goals in 2014. “My New Year’s resolution is to have more trust—trust that things are going to move in the direction they’re supposed to move in,” she confessed. “I have a tendency to be a worrywart, and I’m working on letting that girl go to sleep.”