Dan + Shay picked up the Grammy Award for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for their Justin Bieber collaboration "10,000 Hours" on Sunday night, marking the third year in a row the country duo has won the honor. "Every year winning a Grammy is like the coolest thing in the entire world," duo member Dan Smyers told PEOPLE.
"We dreamed of this our entire lives and you never take it for granted, but this year I feel like it's extra special," he continued. "When it's a normal year, we're out on the road, we're doing 100-plus shows a year, so you're feeling the love one-on-one with your fans every single night. But I speak for a lot of artists when I say this: This year [with COVID-19] has been super tough for our industry as a whole, and you aren't able to feel the connection."
Dan + Shay previously won Best Country Duo/Group Performance in 2020 for their hit "Speechless" and in 2019 for crossover smash "Tequila." The pair's 2021 win makes them the first artist to score three wins consecutively since the category's inception.
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During Sunday's show, Smyers and bandmate Shay Mooney recorded themselves watching from home as their category was announced, erupting in cheers and sharing a hug when they were declared the winners. "As you can tell, we're very excited," Smyers told the camera as Mooney laughed in surprise. "We have no speech prepared. Our families in there, they're very happy. I love you guys. I always get so nervous at these things. Thank you so much to our fans. To Justin's fans, to country radio, to radio, man, for playing this song. The Academy, everybody who voted for us, it truly means the world."
"WE WON A GRAMMY THANK Y'ALL SO MUCH FOR THIS. extra emotional this year," the duo's caption read. Mooney told PEOPLE that while he and Smyers weren't able to celebrate with Bieber on Sunday, it will be an "amazing day whenever we actually get to be there with [Bieber] in person and get to celebrate with him."
The duo was able to celebrate with each other and their families, which they called a "blessing." "I'm here with my best friend," Mooney said. "It's been a tough year — we haven't got to tour — so this is a very special moment, and I'm very proud that I get to share it with [Smyers]."