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Hunter Hayes Debuts ‘Encore’ at Exclusive Fan Listening Party

Hunter Hayes
Megan Pacella for Taste of Country

On Thursday afternoon (June 6), a select group of Hunter Hayes fans — or Hayniacs, as they like to be known — had the opportunity to attend an exclusive listening party for Hayes’ new album, ‘Encore.’ These lucky fans got more than just a first listen of the re-released bonus album. Hayes treated them to more than an hour of interviews and live performances.

First up on Hayes’ agenda was explaining to his fans what ‘Encore’ actually is. Since the 21-year-old breakout country star is just a little obsessive about perfecting his music, he chose to re-release his debut, working tirelessly to re-record songs with different musicians and invite some new talent into the tracking room. Plus, ‘Encore’ includes a few new songs that Hayes has been playing to live audiences on tour.

A deejay from Sirius XM’s ‘The Highway’ radio show was in attendance to chat with Hayes in front of a jam-packed room of screaming fans. To kick off the musical portion of the listening party, the deejay played the new cut of ‘Everybody’s Got Somebody,’ which the rising country star recorded with Jason Mraz.

“I met Jason Mraz at the Grammys this past year, and we talked about writing together. I think that’s going to happen when we both have a day off… in 2017,” Hayes joked. “I told him I had a song and I’d really like him to come in and do something with it. I was like, ‘Whatever you want to do — if you want to play the kazoo, I’m cool with that. He was nice enough to listen to the song and give it a shot. The next thing I know, I had some tracks in my inbox of him messing around with harmony parts on the song.”

Hayes had never heard the new versions of any of his songs, and he was delighted at how well the new tracks turned out. While fans sang along on Thursday, the singer sat on stage dancing in his seat and smiling at his favorite parts of every tune.

It wouldn’t be an exclusive party without any live performances, and the award-winning Hayes didn’t disappoint. He played fan-favorites like ‘In a Song’ and ‘Somebody’s Heartbreak,’ as well as a duet of ‘What You Gonna Do’ with Pistol Annies‘ Hippie Annie herself, Ashley Monroe.

While Hayes’ fans were enthusiastic and screamed at all the appropriate moments, all of the Hayniacs in attendance did their best to stay quiet during the interviews and performances.

“They’re amazing,” the singer said of the dedicated group. “I would never have dreamed that it would be this sweet to get to do what I do. I knew it was gonna be fun, but I never knew it would be this fun.”

‘Hunter Hayes (Encore)’ will be available for purchase on June 18. All of the Hayniacs who attended the listening party (us included!) can attest that the 17-track record is definitely worth a listen.

Next: Watch a 6-Year-Old Hunter Hayes on Nickelodeon

See Pictures From Hunter Hayes’ ‘Encore’ Listening Party

Hunter Hayes
Megan Pacella for Taste of Country
Hunter Hayes
Megan Pacella for Taste of Country
Hunter Hayes; Ashley Monroe
Megan Pacella for Taste of Country
Hunter Hayes
Megan Pacella for Taste of Country
Hunter Hayes
Megan Pacella for Taste of Country

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