His musical career began at age four when he appeared on the Nickelodeon show Figure It Out to perform with Hank Williams Jr. He appeared on the show America's Most Talented Kid at the age of thirteen.
In 2011, he released his first non-independent album, Hunter Hayes, which reached #4 on the US Country charts.
He is the only child of Leo and Lynette Hayes. In 2013, rumors spread that he was dating pop singer Selena Gomez. Hayes claimed, however, that with over 100 tour dates that year, he did not have time for dating.