Hunter Hayes’ ‘Wanted’ Helps Singer in ‘Awkward’ Situations
Hunter Hayes' first No. 1 single, "Wanted" was celebrated with a gathering at the offices of performing rights organization BMI on Thursday morning (Jan. 17). In addition to brunch, guests were treated to heartfelt thank-you's from Hunter, his co-writer Troy Verges (who, like Hunter, is a Louisiana native) and the music publishers, radio promotions folks and others who helped the song reach the chart pinnacle. The young performer was also surprised with a plaque commemorating the single's current double-platinum status, and the news that the tune could soon reach sales of more than three million.
Although "Wanted" is Hunter's first to top the charts, Troy (pictured above with Hunter) has reached No. 1 before, with "Blessed" for Martina McBride, "Wasted" by Carrie Underwood and "Who I Am" by Jessica Andrews. Most recently, his song "Beer Money" was a Top 10 hit for Kip Moore.
Hunter, who says "Wanted" was inspired by his need to send a love letter to a girl since he is actually very shy, revealed that the song didn't have the desired effect, although he and the original recipient have gone on to become great friends, if not an actual couple. The song has gone on to impact not only the singer-songwriter's career, but also his fans and his approach to songwriting.
"One of the biggest changes for me as a result of the song is that you just have to let a song be written," Hunter tells The Boot. "In the process of writing 'Wanted,' I feel like it's now become this 'thing' as opposed to just a song. I've always wanted to be a part of a song that could be part of a moment in somebody's life. A couple of friends of mine used it as their first dance [at their wedding]. I had a guy propose to his girlfriend in the middle of 'Wanted' at a show we did. But you just write a song, you don't overthink it, you don't structure it. You just write. I'm so grateful to have learned that in this song."
With "Wanted," the 21-year-old has also found an alternative to facing uncomfortable situations. "The song has given me a false sense of confidence," Hunter says with a laugh. "I'm such a geek. I'm so awkward and weird and shy and quiet. I don't say these things in the song very well. That's why I put them in a song. But I'm learning that I should write more songs for the girls that I want to make the message to, because apparently that's way better than me talking. Because that's never actually worked. [laughs] But it has taught me how to be honest. The rule of songwriting: say what you want to say, say it again, say it a different way, then say it again."
As "Wanted" continues to climb the pop charts, Hunter's latest single, "Somebody's Heartbreak" is in the Top 10 on the country chart and moving toward the No. 1 spot. Hunter is also nominated for a trio of Grammys, including Best New Artist. He'll also continue as opening act on Carrie Underwood's Blown Away tour when the trek resumes Feb. 13 in Colorado Springs, Colo. See a list of his upcoming tour dates here.
Watch Hunter Hayes' 'Somebody's Heartbreak' Video