Women rule the rock categories this year.
Elle King
Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage

Elle King’s winding down the year with two Grammy nominations for her sleeper hit “Ex’s & Oh’s,” under her belt, and even though the track went platinum this year, she wasn’t sure she or her song would get recognized.

“I had a breakdown last night. Just excitement and nerves — telling myself, ‘Elle, you’re probably not going to get nominated, just relax,'” King tells EW. But her day certainly turned around when she found out she’s up for Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song. The fields are traditionally an old boy’s club of sorts, and during a year where women are ruling the charts, her nods feel like an added bonus.

“It’s insane,” she says, referring to the breakdown. Best Rock Performance is stacked with four female-fronted acts — Alabama Shakes, Florence + The Machine, and Wolf Alice — and the category is rounded out by the Foo Fighters. And Best Rock Song only features two male vocalists — Johnny Stevens of hard rock newcomers Highly Suspect for “Lydia” and James Bay.

King watched the roll-out live this morning from her hotel, with her bassist. When she didn’t get named for Best New Artist, she says her mom actually called to console her. “She was like, ‘Elle, there’s Grammy’s every year, it’s fine,'” the singer says with a laugh. “I was like, ‘Mommy! Let me refresh the rest of the categories!’ And then my phone hasn’t stopped ringing now.”

Getting nominated seems prize enough for King, who feels certain she won’t win. “I just want to see my face in the little square. I won’t win, but this is f—ing awesome.” For more on King, read our recent interview with the budding star.