Hunter Hayes Is the “Wanted” Man

photo by Kendra Gene Motycka

Hunter Hayes picked up a treasure trove of honors, along with hefty praise from songwriter Troy Verges, as he celebrated his first No. 1 hit, "Wanted," at an industry party at the BMI building in Nashville, Thursday (Jan. 17). Hunter and co-writer Troy, a fellow Louisiana native, received plaques from their publishers along with commemorative medallions from the Country Music Association. Hunter's label, Warner Bros. Nashville, presented Hunter with a plaque marking 2 million download sales of "Wanted."

Before the big event, Hunter recalled to members of the Nashville media that he found out about the song's No. 1 status during his tour with Carrie Underwood last year. "We had just started the Blown Away Tour," Hunter said. "We're hanging out by the bus and I called it a night and my manager said, 'I have one more thing to tell you about.' The entire team, the label, the crew and everyone, is sitting in the front lounge of the bus and they're all saying 'Congratulations' and "You did it.' They told me that it was officially No. 1." Hunter added that he is putting together a new album but was not rushing into the process. "I've written a ton for it," he said. "We're still whittling things down."

During the party, Hunter made sure to thank his parents, who were in attendance, for their support. Acknowledging co-writer Troy, Hunter noted, "Troy was one of the first people I got to write with and I was so nervous, I learned so much from writing with you." In turn, Troy praised Hunter's effort and musicianship. "I want to thank Hunter for sharing his talent with me," Troy said. "He's going to have a lot more of these parties."

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