OFFSTAGE: Hunter Hayes’ Story Behind “Here’s Hope”

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

When Little Big Town performed “Here’s Hope” at the ACM Awards , with the Clark County Children’s Choir backing them, I cried. So did Hunter Hayes. “I cried. I’m not gonna lie. I teared up,” he told me at Sunday’s (April 1) show. Hayes co-wrote the song with Luke Laird and Barry Dean, and I asked him how it felt to write such a moving song to help call attention to childhood hunger. “I was intimidated by having to write a song for such a big campaign for such a big situation. The hunger issue we have in America is staggering. But once I started listening to these kids talk about the problem — like one girl who said she’d sacrifice meals so her sisters could eat — it moved me so much. And when you feel something, the songwriting comes easy,” he said. I told him my favorite line was “Who doesn’t want to be a hero,” because, really, who doesn’t? “I felt like everybody could relate to that for sure. Everybody wants to help,” Hayes said. “We may have feelings about ‘Am I gonna be able to help,’ but we are all compelled to help at some point.” After Little Big Town’s performance on the show, they tweeted to Hayes, “Thank you for sharing your heart & talent. We are thankful to be a part of raising awareness & bringing more love & light to the children of our nation.” I’m guessing they cried, too.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.