American country music singer and songwriter Hunter Hayes started his musical career at a young age of 2 when his grandmother gave him a toy accordion. Born on September 9, 1991, at Larniurg Hospital in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, the only child of Lynette and Leo Hayes first made appearances at local performances and on national television at 4 years old.
The young Hayes received the honor to share the stage with Hank Williams Jr. on Nickelodeon's game show "Figure It Out", where they sang "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)" from Williams' first album "Through My Eyes". At 13 years old, he was invited to perform for then President Bill Clinton for a White House lawn party.
After graduating from school in 2007, Hayes moved to Nashville, Tennessee a year later to be signed into Universal Music Publishing Group as a songwriter, contributing to Rascal Flatts' song "Play" included in their album "Nothing Like This". In 2010, he signed a record deal with Atlantic Records Nashville to work on his major-label debut album, co-writing every track, playing every instrument and singing every vocal track in the album.
Hayes introduced his music by debuting songs that would appear on his self-titled album on a ten-week radio tour. Preceded by hit singles "Wanted" and "Storm Warning", "Hunter Hayes" was well received by the critics and peaked at No. 3 on Country Album chart after it was released on October 11, 2011. The album has now been certified Platinum.
In the same year, Hayes served as the opening act of ten dates of Taylor Swift's "Speak Now World Tour" during the summer before embarking on his debut headlining tour, the "Most Wanted Tour", in the fall. He has also appeared as the opening act at on Rascal Flatts' tour, The Flaming Lips' concert and Carrie Underwood's tour.
On September 7, 2012, two days shy of his 21st birthday, he was inducted, as the youngest member, into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame at the Mahalia Jackson Theater in New Orleans, Louisiana. He posted more new records in the same year, including being the youngest solo male act to top the Hot Country Songs with "Wanted".
Hayes was recognized at several awards shows through his debut album, bagging two prizes for Single of the Year: New Artist and Music Video of the Year: New Artist at the American Country Awards. Among other prestigious nods were his three nominations, for Best New Artist, Best Country Solo Performance and Best Country Album, at the 2013 Grammy Awards. Though failing to win any of them, he became the youngest male country artist to ever be nominated in those three Grammy categories.
After coming home empty handed from the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, where he was nominated in two categories, Hayes won the Nationwide Insurance On Your Side Award at the CMT Music Awards. He has a chance to add another award to his shelf as he is nominated for Choice Male Country Artist at the upcoming Teen Choice Awards.
In the meantime, Hayes is prepping to release a deluxe edition of his eponymous record. Called "Hunter Hayes (Encore)", it will include eight new and re-recorded tracks, including his collaborations with Jason Mraz and Ashley Monroe.