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Hunter Hayes' Influences

by Nick Murray

Hunter Hayes' Influences


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At once breaking new ground in selling rock-infused country pop to teens and harking back to the crooning heartthrobs who made the same move in the mid- to late 1950s, Hunter Hayes belongs to a universe of country music that goes much deeper than his 21 years would suggest. Of contemporary artists, Hayes draws not only from the usual suspects such as Rascal Flatts and Tim McGraw but also from adult contemporary mainstays like Jason Mraz (who appears on the deluxe edition of Hayes' self-titled debut) and even Christian rockers MercyMe, and adds to that the boyish charm of a Scotty McCreery. Soon, if he and his label get their wish, Hayes could very well join former tour partners Flatts, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood among country's biggest crossover stars of the moment. If it worked for Sonny James and George Hamilton IV 60 years back, who's to say it won't work now?

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