Hunter Easton Hayes (born September 9, 1991) is an American country music singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He can play more than 30 instruments and is signed to Atlantic Records Nashville.
Hayes released his self-titled debut album in 2011. 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. 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:
Hayes was born on September 9, 1991, at Larniurg Hospital in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, as the only child to Lynette and Leo Hayes. His parents both have Cajun ancestry (along with English, Scots-Irish, and German roots). Hayes grew up singing songs in both English and French. 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, including Maury, Rosie O'Donnell, and Nickelodeon's game show Figure It Out, where he performed "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)" with Hank Williams Jr.American Songwriter writes that "Hayes received his first guitar from actor Robert Duvall at age six" 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. In April 2011, he had gone on his own radio tour where he debuted songs that would appear on his debut album. 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.
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". From January to February 2012, Hayes was the opening act on the Rascal Flatts "Thaw Out" tour.
"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. 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.
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."
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.
2011-present: Hunter Hayes, Storyline:
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. He co-wrote every song, played every instrument, and along with Dann Huff, produced the album. "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". 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, making him the youngest solo male act to top Hot Country Songs, breaking the record set in 1973 by Johnny Rodriguez. Twenty weeks after first appearing in the top spot and under a new chart format, "Wanted" returned to the top spot. "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.
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. 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.
Hayes performed "Invisible," the lead single from his second album, at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards.Storyline was released on May 6, 2014. 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.