Tag Archives: Hunter Hayes

Country Music Blog Rodeo: The Year of the Country Crossover


Over the last few years, country music has certainly expanded beyond the old stereotype of boots, big hair and ten-gallon hats. Artists like Taylor Swift and Lady Antebellum have huge pop hits, the Zac Brown Band & Jason Aldean sell out Madison Square Garden and the Scotty McCreerys and Tate Stevens of the world rise to fame via televised talent shows. On the flip side, Mumford & Sons get played on country radio, UK-lite-rocker Ed Sheeran tours with Taylor Swift and Kelly Clarkson performs on the CMA’s. Over the last few years, it has become commonplace for country musicians to dabble outside of their genre, and if January of 2013 is any indication, this trend is only going to continue into 2013.

Interestingly enough, I grew up claiming that I loved all music “except country.” (Seriously – I think I wrote that on my Myspace…don’t judge me, I’m from NY.) However, after being taken to see Rascal Flatts at Madison Square Garden, my perspective on the genre completely changed and I was hooked. Now I’ll listen to anything from Garth to Reba to Taylor to Jason. However, if you were to ask a purist of country music, they’d probably argue that Rascal Flatts is just a boy (err, man) band in cowboy boots, Taylor is a dubstep-loving pop act and Jason’s renegade hick-hop style bastardizes country music. Yet, on the heels of Aldean selling out a show at New York’s Madison Square Garden in mere minutes, I’d argue that the biggest development of country music in 2013 will be the pure magnitude of its reach and ability to cross over, while also openly welcoming those who dabble and stretch the ideas of what typical “country” is.

ACM Awards Announces ‘Newcomer’ Nominees


The nominees for the “Newcomer” categories have been announced for the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards.

Fans will have the chance to determine the winners at VoteACM.com and GACtv.com/ACM. Each winner will then go on to compete for the overall “New Artist of the Year” award.

The online voting will available to fans between Monday, January 21st and Monday, February 4th. The online voting for the “New Artist of the Year” award will take place from Monday, March 25th until Sunday, April 7th. The winner of this award will be announced during the live broadcast of the ACM Awards that will air on April 7th at 8PM EST.

Country Artists Make the Grammy Album Cut


Country superstar Grammy nominees Hunter Hayes and Taylor Swift were chosen to appear on the 2013 Grammy Nominees Album. The album, which will be released on January 22 by Capitol Records and Grammy Recordings, will feature Hunter’s “Wanted” and Taylor’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”. Hunter is nominated for Best New Artist, while Taylor’s single is up for Record of the Year. Also featured on the album is country music’s stepchild, Kelly Clarkson, as well as Taylor’s current opening act, Ed Sheeran.

Carrie Underwood Named Top Female Country Touring Artist of 2012

carrie underwood blown away tour pic
It’s no coincidence that Carrie Underwood‘s tour was titled the “Blown Away Tour,” as she blew away audiences and critics alike across the United States, the UK and Australia in 2012. The first leg of the 62 city tour wrapped on December 22, and according to Pollstar‘s Year-End chart, Underwood was the top female touring artist of the year.

Didn’t see Carrie in 2012? The tour will re-launch a second leg on February 13, 2012, sponsored by vitaminwater® and supported by Hunter Hayes. Additionally, $1 from each ticket sale will go to Red Cross Disaster to relief to provide shelter, food and emotional support for those in need.

Hunter Hayes shares Christmas memories

Hunter Hayes.

Country music’s young star Hunter Hayes is a pretty big fan of this time of year. It shouldn’t come as a surprise for fans of the singer-songwriter to know that he’s always kept Christmas musical in some way. Check out what he had to say about the holiday season, including his favorite memories, his traditions, and what he thinks is the best Christmas song:

Favorite Christmas Memories Musical Gifts:

I think my favorite Christmas memory is any Christmas memory having to do with a music gift.  Because pretty much every year from the time I was 2 to the time I was 10 it was something.  One year it was a drum kit, one year it was a guitar, one year it was a Tascam recording system. So a little selfish, but, I did love waking up on Christmas morning and there would always be something musical sitting under the tree.  It was awesome.  Thus, I am obsessed with music now.

Favorite Christmas Musical Gifts Memories 2:

I think my favorite Christmas memory is a combination of the fact that for five years in a row I asked for musical instruments every year. So I woke up and I got a musical instrument, which was awesome. Then just hanging out with family.  That’s one of two days a year that I know I will get to see everyone in my family.  In Louisiana, everybody lives pretty close to each other, so you know you’re going to see everybody. So it’s really cool. I definitely appreciate it more now that I’ve moved away than I think I did then.  Just getting to see everyone at once. And we’d always just hang out and watch whatever was on tv or just chat about whatever, good home cooking.  You know, grandma makes the best food in the world—both of my grandmothers, if they’re listening.  They’re both equally awesome.  It was a time where we’d go from one house to another just seeing everybody.

Christmas Holiday Season Traditions:

I think if I have any holiday traditions now it is just to make sure that I get back to Louisiana to see all my family.  Because you know everybody’s there and we love to just hang out and that’s kind of just a tradition of ours, and it’s kind of understood that three days before and three days after Christmas or New Year or Thanksgiving, we just go down to Louisiana and spend time there and just hang out.  No agenda. No list of things to do. We just go to see family, and visit and catch up, which is always, always needed.

Favorite Christmas Song:

I think my favorite Christmas song is probably I’ll Be Home for Christmas. I don’t know what it is about that song that just sleighs me every time I hear it because it’s so profound. It’s just so sincere, you know. It’s just one of those songs that’s really just real, that everyone can relate to.  Everybody either goes home for the holidays or has friends that they want to go visit or a significant other they want to go visit, you know, things like that; I feel we all just want to go for the holidays. It’s just one of those songs that just gets me every time.

Hunter Hayes to perform at Grammy Nominations

Hunter Hayes.

Hunter Hayes has been chosen to help represent country music at this year’s Grammy Nominations concert on CBS. The annual event is a special way the GRAMMYs help get fans excited for the nominations for the 2013 show. For the first time in its history, the GRAMMYs concert nomination special will be held in Nashville, with Taylor Swift co-hosting the night. It’s the fifth year for the event, which also announced the addition of rock group The Who as a performer on the telecast.

The GRAMMYs nomination special airs on CBS on December 5th at 10 pm EST. Other country performers include The Band Perry and Dierks Bentley, who will be teaming up for a tribute to Johnny Cash. Who do you want to see nominated for the big awards at the GRAMMYs this year?

Performers announced for CMT Artists of the Year Special


While the honorees themselves are still being kept top secret, CMT has announced a big list of performers for their 2012 Artists of the Year special. Performing this year will be country superstars Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Eric Church, Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Chris Young, Kenny Rogers, Toby Keith, Hunter Hayes, Kacey Musgraves, Thompson Square, Jason Aldean, Eli Young Band and Sammy Hagar. While the station won’t announce the honorees, or even hint about who it could be, fans are encouraged to keep up-to-date in all the announcements at cmt.com.

The 90-minute special will be hosted by Rascal Flatts and “Nashville” show star Hayden Panettiere on December 8th, 2012 airing on CMT. Who do you think deserves to be honored at the third annual event?

46th annual Country Music Association Winners

Blake Shelton & Miranda Lambert. photo credit: Robert Evans.

There were a lot of surprises last night during the broadcast of the 46th annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards. Some new artists were finally able to take home their first awards versus industry heavyweights, and a brand new king of country music was crowned. The award show was hosted for the fifth year by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on ABC. Even as a voting member of the CMAs, some of the winners shocked me in the end. While most were my votes and who I wanted to win, there were a few that the rest of the industry did surprise me with.

The big names of the night were once again country’s supercouple Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton. After an emotional acceptance speech for Song Of The Year for “Over You,” they both made their way back up to the stage several times – for Male Vocalist of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, and Blake taking home the big prize – Entertainer of the Year. Other notable, and just as surprised winners, were Hunter Hayes for New Artist of the Year, and Little Big Town finally taking home the Group of the Year award. Thompson Square emotionally accepted the award for Duo of the Year, also ending Sugarland’s streak of wins in that category.

Eric Church‘s “Chief” won Album of the Year, finally putting Miranda’s album of the year streak to an end.

See the full list of winners below and let us know how you did with your predictions. Do you agree with the industry?

Carrie Underwood Extends Her Tour


Carrie Underwood announced today that “The Blown Away Tour” will now extend into 2013 with forty additional tour dates. Originally, Carrie’s tour was set to end in Sunrise, Florida on December 22, 2012, but the tour will now resume in Colorado Springs, Colorado on February 13, 2013 and continue for thirty-nine more shows to follow. Hunter Hayes will also continue to tour with Carrie as her opening act. The donation of $1 from each ticket sold on the North American leg of “The Blown Away Tour” will continue in 2013 to support Red Cross disaster relief.

Hunter Hayes Reflects on Halloween

Hunter Hayes.

Do you have your Halloween costume picked out yet? Atlantic Records’ Hunter Hayes took a few minutes to share his favorite Halloween moment from a few years ago, and why he loves the holiday. Turns out you can trick and treat and still scare kids on the same night!

Hunter said:

“I did dress up quite a bit when I was a kid for Halloween. I wasn’t really a candy kid, I’m just weird like that, but one year I dressed up as a skeleton,  black suit… and all you could see was just the bones, right? I went around and trick or treated, but when I got home I laid down like I was dead, like I was some kind of mannequin or something and then as the kids would come closer I’d jump up and scare the daylights out of them. It was the best!”

In case you didn’t think Hunter was the kind of guy to like scaring people, well, looks like you’re wrong. He continues:

“I like surprising people but I never knew it until that moment, I just got to scare them and it was fun. I try for more pleasant surprises these days.”

Catch Hunter as he tours with Carrie Underwood on her “Blown Away Tour” the rest of 2012. His self-titled debut record is at stores right now!

What are you planning on doing for Halloween? What’s your favorite Halloween moment? Let us know!