Newly minted Country Music Association Award winner Hunter Hayes had two reasons to celebrate during the Nov. 1 ceremony: First, the win for New Artist of the Year, but second, his impressive performance of his single “Wanted.”
Hayes stripped down his performance to just his vocals and a piano, which he set up in the middle of the Nashville audience.
Later, when the 21-year-old accepted his New Artist award, he was positively Taylor Swift-ian in his surprise at the win. “Thank you, Lord, for letting me do what I do, and what I do every day. Thank you to the amazing fans. Thank you to my family,” he said in his speech. “My mom and dad have done so much to get me right here. Thank you guys.”