Everyone knows Hunter Hayes is humbly tearing up the country charts with his second album, “Storyline,” and is nominated for a Grammy for his hit “Invisible.”
Everyone knows that this 23-year-old Louisiana native is fiercely thankful for his millions of loyal fans and appreciative of his loving parents who have supported him since day one of his music career so many years ago.
But there are things you don’t know about Hayes.
The five-time Grammy nominee spoke to ABC News as part of his collaboration with Whirlpool on a project in which fans got to send in their own version of “You Are My Sunshine” for a campaign centered around “small acts of care.” One lucky winner will get to thank a loved one via a 60-second spot.
I DEFINITELY wouldn’t be where I am today without my family. And my mom’s cooking. #CareIsMusical #EveryDayCare http://t.co/QtLaVPFSA1
— Hunter Hayes (@HunterHayes) January 28, 2015
It’s “the little things that make a big difference,” Hayes told ABC News about the campaign. “The little things that go unnoticed or unspoken about, they make the world different. I know, growing up, having the support of my parents and everything that they did to support me every day, all the little things, were the reason that I believed in my myself and they’re the reason I’m here today.”
He added, “It’s just the little things, right? Like just washing, cleaning and cooking, and all these things that my mom did every day. To guarantee we had dinner together every night, and I thought that was one of the things that I assumed everybody did. I’m learning now that’s not the case, and it was just special because we always had our family meal together. We talked about our day, we talked about everything, we dreamed together, you know? And that’s the kind of thing I’ve carried into my life.”
Here are five things you don’t know about the down-to-earth superstar.
1 — Hayes Didn’t Go to Homecoming or Prom
“I never went to homecoming and I never went to prom,” he said. “Prom was actually always on the same day I had a hometown festival that was one of our biggest gigs of the year. Every year, I’d play it. It was on a Saturday. And that was the deal for like 10 years in a row, I played that gig, so I never went to prom, for that. But I’m OK with that.”
Hayes joked that skipping the prom might have been for the best.
“And you know, I’m a horrible dancer, so I would be the most boring date in the world. So, it makes sense,” he said, laughing.
“Most boring date” — highly doubtful.
2 — He Still Gets Starstruck
“Actually it was funny, I’ve talked to and been on the show with Ellen quite a few times, but every time I’m still starstruck,” he said. “I still get shy and quiet and weird and awkward. But, I mean, everybody, anybody musical really, I still get that way. I still get that way with Dan Huff, and we’ve produced two records together and we’ve worked together for like six years. He’s made me feel like, honestly, I feel like I’m part of his family — but even still with that I’m still star struck. I am!”
He added, laughing, “And it was funny, Stevie Wonder, with Stevie last year, I got to work with Stevie Wonder a couple years ago and I actually I called him again, and it was just funny, one of the first things he said was, ‘Hey man, haven’t heard from you in a while!’ We’re buds, apparently. And it’s like, that’s cool!”
You guys ROCK! That was a BLAST! #CMAFest #MilkMusic @SamsungMobileUS pic.twitter.com/GSCT1H3sjf
— Hunter Hayes (@HunterHayes) June 6, 2014
3 — His Good Luck Charm on Tour Is a Mandolin
“A mandolin, I know it’s so, so random, but I used to take guitars with me everywhere,” he said. “But airlines don’t like me walking on the plane with a guitar so, I’m scared, scared to just let them go because of what’s happened to certain pieces up here in the past. But now, I bring a mandolin because I know that I can fit that under my seat or in the overhead bin. I love having a mandolin with me, I play it all the time. It’s a peaceful instrument. It’s great to write on, it’s great to just jam on for a minute, and it’s kind of trippy because it’s tune is backwards — so long story short, the musician in me finds it a fun challenge in trying to play it.”
Thank you #BigMuddyMandolin for making an unbelievable little instrument I can’t put down! pic.twitter.com/d53PPZOrfb
— Hunter Hayes (@HunterHayes) August 29, 2014
4 — His Love for Espresso
“I’ve got to have espressos on me. Coffee doesn’t do it for me anymore. I gotta have two or three shots of espresso to get me going,” he said.
#TBT before coffee came into my life… pic.twitter.com/9JT52wgzTI
— Hunter Hayes (@HunterHayes) October 2, 2014
5 — How He Blows Off Steam
“I just sit at home and watch ‘Top Gear,’ the British one. I started watching that probably 10 years ago and, now, I will literally sit on the couch with now my new adopted greyhound, and we will watch episode upon episode, and total binge-watch ‘Top Gear.'”
I can’t contain my excitement. Can you tell? @BBC_TopGear
This is Cole. These are our serious faces.
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