Hunter Hayes may not be the kind of guy who rocks a lot of ink, but he certainly rocked the 2014 CMT Music Awards on Wednesday (June 4) with an electric performance of his laid-back love song “Tattoo.”
Radio personality Bobby Bones and YouTube violin sensation Lindsey Stirling introduced Hayes, with the latter performing a short solo violin tune because, as Bones put it, “We’ve always loved fiddles in country music.” Bones went on to describe Hayes as “one of the brightest talents making music today” before turning the stage over to the 22-year-old wunderkind.
Accompanied by a full band, the virtuosic multi-instrumentalist donned a black outfit and a white Stratocaster, throwing in bluesy guitar licks in between verses with what looked like remarkable ease as the audience swayed along with blue flashlights in hand.
The latest single from his new album Storyline, “Tattoo” is an up-tempo, mandolin-heavy ode to that special kind of love that inspires heart-shaped body art and seems destined to be a summer smash. Judging from the screams at the end of his performance, a lot of girls in the audience apparently think Hayes’ name would make a pretty good tattoo, too.
Hayes, who won his first CMT award in 2013, received nominations this year for video of the year and male video of the year for “I Want Crazy” and collaborative video of the year for “Everybody’s Got Somebody but Me,” a duet with pop singer-songwriter Jason Mraz.