Hunter Hayes started singing at talent competitions before he'd entered Kindergarten and made an appearance on TV's Rosie O'Donnell Show before most kids had entered high school. During this time, Hayes gained prowess as a multi-instrumentalist, perfecting his skills on guitar, accordion, drums, piano, and mandolin, among other instruments.
In 2000, he recorded Through My Eyes for a local label.
Major Label Debut:
By the time he moved to Nashville in the late 2000s, Hunter Hayes had released five albums both independently and on smaller labels. He gained visibility when Rascal Flatts recorded "Play," which the singer co-wrote. In 2010 he signed with Atlantic Records as a solo artist and the following year released his self-titled major-label debut. It featured the singles "Storm Warning" and "Wanted." Displaying his talents as a songwriter, he wrote or co-wrote all 12 tracks on the record.
Hunter Hayes on His Influences:
"When I started studying music it was Flatts, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley all those acts that had just came out, even Dierks Bentley. Then I started studying Ronnie Milsap, before that it was Brooks and Dunn, and Garth Brooks . . . obviously Taylor Swift," the singer said in an interview with Country Stars Central. "The songs I identify with, the lyrical things I love are always country music. That is why I consider it my home; it is very relatable and personable. That is the kind of music I wanted to write."
Touring with Taylor Swift:
Hayes later supported Taylor Swift on her Speak Now World Tour. According to him, he learned a lot from watching the singer perform.
"I was studying every night. I'm a huge fan of hers," Hayes told the Baltimore Sun in 2012. "She takes a room of 15,000 people and you feel like you got to shake her hand, give her a hug. You feel like you know her after she leaves."
In 2012, Hayes continued to perform with high-profile country stars, opening for Carrie Underwood's Blown Away tour.
- Through My Eyes (Louisiana Red Hot Records, 2000)
- Make a Wish (Sugar Town Records, 2001)
- Holidays with Hunter (2003)
- Honoring Our French Heritage (Juicy Pear Productions, 2006)
- Songs About Nothing (Whirlride, 2008)
- Hunter Hayes (Atlantic Nashville Records, 2011)