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Country music singer and songwriter Hunter Hayes turns 22 today.
Hayes released his first album in October 2011. He has been singing since he was two years old - appearing on television as early as four years old, on shows such as Maury, Rosie O’Donnell and Nickelodeon’s Figure It Out. When he was 7, he performed at the White House for President Bill Clinton.
As a songwriter, Hayes wrote songs for such names as the Rascal Flatts. When it was his turn to take the stage, Hayes opened for Taylor Swift’s Speak Now World Tour, the Rascal Flatts' Thaw Out Tour, The Flaming Lips during their Hattiesburg concert in 2012 and Carrie Underwood’s Blown Away Tour. The Louisiana native headlined from October to December in 2011 for his Most Wanted Tour.
For Hayes’s debut album, Hunter Hayes, he co-wrote every song, co-produced the album and even played every featured instrument, including the guitar, drums and banjo.
Hayes was nominated for three Grammys at this year’s awards show - becoming the youngest male country artist to do so in those categories. He also holds the record for the youngest solo male singer to top Hot Country Songs with his hit “Wanted.”
In honor of the young crooner’s birthday, here is a list of his top 10 songs. Hopefully there will be much more to come from Hayes in the future.
10) “Somebody’s Heartbreak”
Hayes has a big crush in this song. All he wants is to be a part of her life, even if it’s just as a heartbreak. It’s a great song that mixes an upbeat tempo with Hayes’s passionate vocals.
9) “What You Gonna Do”
In all of his songs, Hayes sounds like the ultimate boyfriend. This song is no different, but it sounds like the girl just doesn’t want him anymore. He poses the question of how she could survive without him - she just takes him for granted. I’m sure there’s plenty of other girls out there who would be willing to take over for the ungrateful girl.
8) “Storm Warning”
Released in May 2011, this upbeat song is the first song featured on his debut album. He wrote the song with Gordie Sampson and Busbee, where they decided to write about an unpredictable woman, equating her to the storm of a hurricane.
7) “Faith to Fall Back On”
When things don’t always go as you plan, you need to learn from your mistakes. It’s all about not giving up. That’s what Hayes teaches us in this inspiring song.
6) “If You Told Me To”
Hayes is exactly the man we all search for in this song. He doesn’t want to change the girl or steal her away from her dreams. If she’ll go out with him, he’ll give her everything she needs. I can’t think of a better way to be asked out than through a song like this.
5) “Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me”
I think we’ve all felt like this - whether it’s at the movies when a couple is snuggling up a little too close, at the beach with people walking by holding hands or a pair just driving by in a car looking happy. It’s nice to know that we’re in the same boat as someone as cute as Hayes.
4) “Love Makes Me”
This “feel good” song is all about being in love and what it does to you. The love Hayes commands in this song will even have you singing and dancing with a hairbrush in front of your mirror in no time.
3) “I Want Crazy”
The song is about taking risks that pay off instead of taking a relationship slow and cautious. Co-written with Lori McKenna and Troy Verges, it is the single from his debut album. The mix of electric guitar and mandolin is fun and quirky. It’s a fun song that focuses on the fluffy side of young love stories.
2) “Light Me Up”
This lesser-known song is featured on Hayes’s Encore version of his debut album. It’s a great song about being down in the dumps without much inspiration until that one person comes along. That one person is able to lift your spirits, lighting you up like “New York City on New Year’s Eve.” This upbeat song plays a tribute to that one essential person in everyone’s life.
Released in March 2012 as the second single to Hayes’ debut album, this song was written by Hayes along with Troy Verges. It was nominated for a Grammy Award this year for Best Country Solo Performance. Hayes told Taste of Country about what the song means to him. “At the time, I was trying to tell somebody something, but I couldn’t figure out how to say it. So I wanted to say it in music because I knew it would be a little more impactful [laughs]. I wanted to say we are great in this relationship together, and I feel like it could even get better.” I think we all wish we were wanted as much as the girl this song is about.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons