Hunter Hayes

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This article is about the artist. For the album, see Hunter Hayes (album).
Hunter Hayes
Hunter Hayes2.jpg
Hayes performing in Frederick, Maryland, 2012
Background information
Birth name Hunter Easton Hayes
Born (1991-09-09) September 9, 1991 (age 23)
Origin Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, U.S.
Genres Cajun, country
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, accordion, guitar, mandolin, keyboard, bass guitar, piano, drums
Years active 2000–present
Labels Atlantic
Associated acts Dann Huff, Carrie Underwood, Jason Mraz, Victoria Justice, Ashley Monroe, Rascal Flatts, Danielle Bradbery

Hunter Easton Hayes (born September 9, 1991)[1] is an American country music singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He can play more than 30 instruments[2] and is signed to Atlantic Records Nashville.

Hayes released his self-titled debut album in 2011.[3] It reached number seven on the Billboard 200 and number one on the Top Country Albums, and has sold over 1.1 million copies. Its most successful single, "Wanted", has sold over 3.5 million copies and made Hayes the youngest male act to ever top the Billboard Hot Country Songs. His second studio album, Storyline, was released on May 6, 2014 and was led by its first single, "Invisible".

Hayes' commercial success and his talent both as a songwriter and instrumentalist has prompted Billboard to call him the Leader of Country Music's Youth Revolution.[4] He has been nominated for four Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist and won the Country Music Association Award for New Artist of the Year in 2012, along with three BMI Awards.

Life and career[edit]

Hayes was born on September 9, 1991, at Larniurg Hospital in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, as the only child to Lynette and Leo Hayes.[5] He has French, English, Scots-Irish, and German ancestry.[6] Hayes grew up singing songs in both English and French.[7] He began his musical career at age two, when his grandmother gave him a toy accordion. At four, he began making appearances locally and on national television,[8][9] including Maury, Rosie O'Donnell, and Nickelodeon's game show Figure It Out, where he performed "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)" with Hank Williams Jr.[10] American Songwriter writes that "Hayes received his first guitar from actor Robert Duvall at age six"[11] At age seven, he was invited to perform for President Bill Clinton for a White House lawn party. At thirteen, he appeared on America's Most Talented Kids, a show hosted by Dave Coulier; he performed the hit Hank Williams song, "Hey Good Lookin'".

In 2008, he moved from Breaux Bridge to Nashville, Tennessee and signed with Universal Music Publishing Group as a songwriter. In 2010, co-wrote "Play" for the Rascal Flatts album Nothing Like This. In September, he was signed to Atlantic Records Nashville and began working on what would become his major-label debut.

Hayes appeared as the opening act of ten dates of country star Taylor Swift's Speak Now World Tour throughout the summer of 2011 and concluded his leg of the tour in St. Louis, Missouri.[12] In April 2011, he had gone on his own radio tour where he debuted songs that would appear on his debut album.[13] His debut headlining tour was the Most Wanted Tour; the first leg of the tour began on October 8, 2011 in Beaumont and ended on December 4, 2011 in San Bernardino.[14]

Hayes and actress/singer Victoria Justice contributed a duet to the soundtrack of 2011's Footloose remake, recording a cover of Mike Reno's and Ann Wilson's 1984 hit "Almost Paradise" from the original film. Hayes made a sneak appearance on the compilation album Now That's What I Call Music! 41 with his song "Somebody's Heartbreak".[15] From January to February 2012, Hayes was the opening act on the Rascal Flatts "Thaw Out" tour.[16]

Hayes signing autographs in Frederick, Maryland in August 2012

"Where We Left Off" is an original song, written by Hayes, that can be heard on the soundtrack for the 2012 war film Act of Valor.[17] During the 2012 O Music Awards, The Flaming Lips broke a Guinness World Record (previously held by Jay-Z) for most concerts played in multiple cities in a 24-hr. period. Hayes was the opening act for them at the Hattiesburg stop.[18]

In May 2012, Martin Guitars named Hayes as C.F. Martin & Co.'s newest brand ambassador. American Songwriter quoted Hayes on the subject: "It is an absolute honor to be named an official Martin Ambassador and to be recognized by the Martin family."[11]

On September 7, 2012, he was inducted at the Mahalia Jackson Theater in New Orleans, Louisiana into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame as its youngest member.[19]

2011–present: Hunter Hayes, Storyline[edit]

The debut single was "Storm Warning", released to radio on May 16, 2011. His self-titled major-label debut album was released on October 11, 2011.[20] He co-wrote every song, played every instrument, and along with Dann Huff, produced the album.[21] "Wanted", the second single, was released to radio on March 5, 2012.

On July 24, 2012, he appeared on the CBS's, The Talk, where he was then given an RIAA Gold Certification plaque for "Wanted".[22] Just shy of two months since "Wanted" went gold, the song was certified Platinum by RIAA on August 23, 2012.

"Wanted" became his first No. 1 single,[23] making him the youngest solo male act to top Hot Country Songs, breaking the record set in 1973 by Johnny Rodriguez.[24] Twenty weeks after first appearing in the top spot and under a new chart format, "Wanted" returned to the top spot.[25] "Somebody's Heartbreak", the album's third single, went to No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart.

Starting September 14, 2012, Hayes began appearing as the opening act on 90+ dates for Carrie Underwood's Blown Away Tour.

Hayes performing in 2013

He was also nominated for three Grammys including Best New Artist at the 2013 Grammy Awards; he is the youngest male country artist to be nominated in all three categories for which he was nominated.[26][27] The album's fourth single, "I Want Crazy", which is from the deluxe Encore edition, was released to country radio on April 7, 2013. It peaked at number two on the Country Airplay chart in August 2013. Following it was "Everybody's Got Somebody but Me", a re-recording of a song from the original press of the album. The re-recorded version features guest vocals from Jason Mraz.

Hunter was one of five country singers who won a CMT Artist of the Year award; this award is awarded every year to a group of country musicians who have had an outstanding year.[28]

Hayes performed "Invisible," the lead single from his second album, at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards.[29] Storyline was released on May 6, 2014.[30] In an effort to promote his album and to raise awareness to end child hunger, Hunter broke the Guinness World Record for the most concerts played in multiple cities in 24 hours, originally held by The Flaming Lips.[31]






Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Awards Category Work Result
2012 Academy of Country Music Awards Best New Artist Hunter Hayes Nominated
CMT Music Awards USA Breakthrough Video of the Year "Storm Warning"
Teen Choice Awards Choice Male Country Artist Hunter Hayes Won
Choice Country Song "Storm Warning" Nominated
BMI Awards Award Winning Song (Top 50) Won
Country Music Association Awards New Artist of the Year Hunter Hayes
American Country Awards New Artist of the Year Nominated
Single by a New Artist "Wanted" Won
Music Video by a New Artist
Billboard Touring Awards Top Package[32] Speak Now, featuring Taylor Swift with Needtobreathe, Hunter Hayes, Danny Gokey, etc. Nominated
2013 55th Grammy Awards Best New Artist Hunter Hayes
Best Country Solo Performance "Wanted"
Best Country Album Hunter Hayes
Academy of Country Music Awards New Male Vocalist of the Year Hunter Hayes
Single Record of the Year "Wanted"
Song of the Year
Video of the Year
Billboard Music Awards Top Country Artist Hunter Hayes
Top Country Song "Wanted"
CMT Music Awards Video of the Year
Male Video of the Year
Nationwide Insurance On Your Side Award Hunter Hayes Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice Male Country Artist
Choice Country Song "I Want Crazy" Nominated
BMI Awards Song of the Year "Wanted" Won
Award Winning Song (Top 50) "Storm Warning"
American Music Awards Favorite Country Male Artist Hunter Hayes Nominated
American Country Awards Breakthrough Artist of the Year
Single by a Breakthrough "Somebody's Heartbreak"
2014 56th Grammy Awards Best Country Solo Performance "I Want Crazy"
World Music Awards World's Best Song
World's Best Video
World's Best Album Hunter Hayes
World's Best Male Artist Hunter Hayes
World's Best Live Act
World's Best Entertainer
CMT Music Awards Video of the Year "I Want Crazy"
Male Video of the Year
Collaborative Video of the Year "Everybody's Got Somebody but Me" (ft Jason Mraz)
Teen Choice Awards Choice Male Country Artist Hunter Hayes Won
BMI Awards Top 50 Songs I Want Crazy
2015 People's Choice Awards Favorite Male Country Artist Hunter Hayes
57th Grammy Awards Best Country Solo Performance "Invisible" Nominated


  1. ^ Hunter Hayes Celebrates His 20th Birthday at House of Blues. Music News Nashville. September 14, 2011. Retrieved October 12, 2011.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Hensel, Amanda (August 24, 2011). "Hunter Hayes Sets Release Date for Debut Album". Taste of Country. Retrieved November 7, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Hunter Hayes Leads Country's Youth Revolution, Without a Pickup Truck or Beer in Sight". Billboard. May 6, 2014. 
  5. ^ Hunter's Story. Retrieved on 2012-02-21.
  6. ^ "Hunter Hayes : Biography". Retrieved 2014-05-10. 
  7. ^ Helligar, Jeremy (October 27, 1997). "Squeeze Play". People 48 (17): 113. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  8. ^ Rose, Christopher (4 April 1997). "Kids keep Cajun traditions thriving". The Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved 30 June 2011. 
  9. ^ Conaway, Alanna. "Hunter Hayes Was 'Born' to Make Country Music". Taste of Country. Retrieved 30 June 2011. 
  10. ^ "Hunter Hayes - "Jambalaya" on Figure it Out". Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  11. ^ a b Evan Schlansky (May 21, 2012). "Hunter Hayes Is Martin Guitars' Latest Brand Ambassador". American Songwriter. Archived from the original on 2012-06-06. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  12. ^ "Hunter Hayes will open for Taylor Swift SPEAK NOW North American Tour 2011". March 4, 2011. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  13. ^ Hunter Hayes (April 2011). "Hunter Hayes – Radio Tour (Week 1)". Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  14. ^ Conaway, Alanna (September 13, 2011). "Hunter Hayes Sets Fall 2011 Tour Dates". Taste of Country. Retrieved November 7, 2011. 
  15. ^ Sciarretto, Amy (February 2, 2012). "'NOW That's What I Call Music! Vol. 41' Due out Feb. 7". Artistdirect. Retrieved February 21, 2012. 
  16. ^ Rascal Flatts Announce Thaw Out 2012 Tour. (2011-10-17). Retrieved on 2012-02-21.
  17. ^ 'Act of Valor' soundtrack features original songs from Lady Antebellum, more. (2012-02-20). Retrieved on 2012-02-21.
  18. ^ "Hunter Hayes Performs on O Music Awards". Country Music Television. June 28, 2012. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Hunter Hayes Inducted Into Louisiana Music Hall of Fame". Yahoo! Finance. September 10, 2012. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Hunter Hayes becomes Next Big Thing". Country Standard Time. April 22, 2011. Retrieved June 30, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Hunter's Interview And Performance On The Talk". July 25, 2012. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  23. ^ Conaway, Alanna (September 18, 2012). "Hunter Hayes Gets What He 'Wanted' With First No. 1 Single". Taste of Country. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  24. ^ Jessen, Wade (September 20, 2012). "Hunter Hayes Makes History, Little Big Town Shines on Country Charts". Billboard. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  25. ^ Trust, Gary (February 18, 2013). "Ask Billboard: What's so unusual about Hunter Hayes's New No. 1". Billboard. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  26. ^ Diehl, Matt (February 6, 2013). "Hunter Hayes: My Grammy Ritual". Billboard. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  27. ^ "About Hunter Hayes". Retrieved 2013-03-16. 
  28. ^ "News : Hunter Hayes Interview: CMT Artists of the Year". CMT. 2013-11-28. Retrieved 2014-05-09. 
  29. ^ Craig Shelburne (2014-01-26). "News : Hunter Hayes Debuts "Invisible" on Grammys". CMT. Retrieved 2014-05-09. 
  30. ^ "Hunter Hayes' New Album 'Storyline' to Drop May 6 «". 2014-03-11. Retrieved 2014-05-09. 
  31. ^ "Hunter Hayes Breaks Guinness World Record For Most Concerts Played in multiple cities in 24 hours". Billboard. 2014-05-10. Retrieved 2014-08-09. 
  32. ^

External links[edit]