Hunter Hayes’ ‘Wanted’ Turns Into Crossover Radio Single

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Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

When Hunter Hayes sat down to write “Wanted” — his recent Number One country single — he only had one person in mind.

“‘Wanted’ is very much a love letter. It was written basically to tell a girl how I felt about her,” Hunter told CBS Local. “It didn’t actually work but I’m okay with that. I got my single, I got my song and I’m okay with that.”

What he didn’t know was the song would become his first chart-topping hit as well be covered by a contestant on The Voice.

Now on it’s way to becoming a crossover hit, not unlike recent songs by Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift, Hunter is being embraced by a whole new crop of fans beyond country music.

“I went on to write this song and I was definitely just desperately trying to get the point across to this girl,” he said. “Those are the songs that really write themselves very quickly. I didn’t spend a whole lot of time over-thinking this one.”

Hunter says he was sitting at the piano and the lyrics just fell into place.

“It was something I really wanted to say and I was trying to figure out the best way to say it.”

The song has become a special part of many fans lives. In fact, some have even chosen it to be their wedding song.

“The coolest thing to me is when people come up and they’re like, ‘My girlfriend or boyfriend and I just got engaged and we were looking for our first dance song and we just found it.’ I had that happen one night and it was amazing,” he said. “I had one guy actually get down on his knee and propose to his girlfriend in the middle of our song at one of our sets at one of our shows. That’s a really big dream of mine.”

Another dream come true for Hunter is having “Wanted” covered recently on The Voice.

“I’m stoked that it’s been covered. That’s one of the coolest things, to hear different people interpret your song and take it and make it their own,” he said. “I remember when I got my first cut as a songwriter. I wrote a song, it was actually for me, but it ended up on Rascal Flatts‘ record.”

Hunter’s song, “Play” was featured on Rascal Flatts’ 2010 release Nothing Like This and he recalled the first time he saw them perform it.

“I happen to be a huge Rascal Flatts fan. The first time I heard them play it was Live On Letterman and I remember sitting there hearing my song coming from them and that’s exactly what you dream of as a songwriter, for somebody else make it their own,” he said. “It’s perfect. It’s one of the life goals. Check!”

Currently on tour with Carrie Underwood, Hunter will be singing his songs nighty on her Blown Away Tour which just extended through March 2013.

“I’ve had a lot of songs that mean something to me. And I have a lot of records on repeat and go to songs on those records simply because they speak the truth,” he said. “They’re everything I’ve tried to say and couldn’t say. I want my songs to do that for somebody. It’s hard to say they will or assume they will. You just hope that’ll happen.”

-Annie Reuter, CBS Local

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