Brittany Howard Says 'I'm Just Beside Myself Really' About Her 5 Nominations at 2021 Grammys

Brittany Howard's album Jaime was named after her sister who died of eye cancer in 1998 and taught her to play the piano

Brittany Howard is the woman of the hour at the 63rd Annual Grammys.

Ahead of the show on Sunday, the star, 32, spoke with PEOPLE in 10 host Andrea Boehlke about being nominated for five awards. She has the third highest number of nods this year, following Beyoncé, who has nine nods, and Taylor Swift, Roddy Ricch and Dua Lipa, who are tied for second with six nominations each.

Howard has already snagged the trophy for best rock song for her track "Stay High," which was also nominated for best rock performance (but lost to Fiona Apple's "Shameika"). The songstress could also bring home the win for best R&B performance for her song "Goat Head."

Check out PEOPLE's full Grammys coverage to get the latest news on music's biggest night.

In addition, her album Jaime was nominated for best alternative music album and her track "Short and Sweet" was nominated for best American roots performance.

Of the honors, she told PEOPLE, "I was really surprised. I was really honored too. You know, this piece of work that I made was quite a record. It was quite a risk and then I also named [Jaime] after my sister. So, it felt like such a large part of me and for it to be recognized, and for me to be here with the album being nominated five times — for me to be here amongst friends and my peers and lots of women — I'm just beside myself really."

grammys 2021
Brittany Howard. Getty

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The hitmaker's late sister Jaime died of eye cancer (specifically retinoblastoma) in 1998. She had been Howard's musical inspiration and taught the singer how to write poetry and play the piano.

When asked how fans have reacted to the tragic muse behind Jaime the album, Howard said, "I've been really surprised by my fans. They've had a lot to say about a lot of different things I have talked about in my album, even something like being biracial."

"A woman was in her late 50s and just said, 'Thank you for making this song because we have our experience too,'" she continued. "I just never really thought about that and I thought that was really interesting ... and I don't know, I'd like to thank my fans for being so vulnerable to tell me where they come from and who they are."

Brittany Howard
Brittany Howard. C Brandon/Redferns/ Getty

Howard is set to perform at the Grammys, and though she couldn't give away too many details, she did tease that she's "gonna do the best I can."

"I'm gonna bring that je ne sais quoi that I bring to my performances," she said. "I want to connect with these audiences even though they won't be there live. They'll be watching from their screens and I still want to make that connection with them, so I'm just going to be myself."

The Grammy Awards, hosted by Trevor Noah, will air Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS Television Network and Paramount+.

PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly are also teaming up to bring you some glamour and award show speculation ahead of the Grammy Awards on Sunday, even if most of the nominees and guests will be at home wearing sweatpants.

Hosted by PEOPLE (the TV Show!) New York correspondent Jeremy Parsons and PEOPLE Every Day podcast host Janine Rubenstein, the livestream will air ahead of the award ceremony from 6:30 p.m. ET to 7:30 p.m. ET (3:30 - 4:30 p.m. PT).

The livestream will broadcast live from New York City and will feature celebrity interviews both virtual and in-person from the Grammys red carpet in Los Angeles.

To watch the livestream, you can tune-in above at showtime or head to PeopleTV, PEOPLE Twitter, PeopleTV Twitter, PEOPLE Facebook, PeopleTV Facebook and YouTube.

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