Reveals Reverent Piano-only Rendition of “Dear God” at Ryman Auditorium
Just over one month ago, acclaimed songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and five-time GRAMMY nominee Hunter Hayes released “Dear God” with its universally relatable lyrics that examine notions of anxiety and self-doubt. Today he introduces a new level of depth into the song by teaming up with To Write Love On Her Arms, a non-profit dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.
This morning the country music superstar launched a fundraiser via Facebook in honor of World Suicide Prevention Day (DONATE HERE), and within an hour he had raised more than $5,000 – nearly half of his overall goal – in support of the organization. He thanked fans with a special Facebook Live, where he discussed the meaning behind the song and entreated them for continued support of To Write Love On Her Arms and their Tomorrow Needs You campaign throughout National Suicide Prevention Week (WATCH HERE).
“One of the biggest things I wanted for ‘Dear God’ was for it to be part of something positive,” said Hayes. “It’s super easy to listen to voices that will tell you that you’re not good enough. But the thing that I wanted in ‘Dear God’ was to shine a light… For those of us who might experience darkness of some kind, it’s easy to think there isn’t a light. It’s easy to think that there’s no one around. I so desperately wanted [to say]: You are enough. You are good enough. You are smart enough, you are brave enough, you are loved and you are meant to be exactly who you are right now.”
About this week’s partnership he added, “The thing that To Write Love on Her Arms does is it reaches the people who might be unreachable. That’s why I feel like it’s so powerful and so important. I just really believe in the work that they’re doing.”
In addition to participating in the Tomorrow Needs You campaign video (WATCH HERE), Hayes followed up this afternoon with the reveal of his piano-only version of “Dear God” taped at the Ryman Auditorium (WATCH HERE). The one-take video strips the pop country instrumentation of the viral hit, which has already drawn more than six million streams on Spotify alone, to a pulled back reverence worthy of the mother church of country music.
Currently the focus of the streaming service’s Hot Country cover story (SEE HERE), Hayes recently shared another retooling of the song along with a rendition of Charlie Puth’s massive smash “Attention” in his Spotify Sessions(LISTEN HERE). “Dear God” has earned praise from outlets including Rolling Stone and Taste of Country, who declared, “Leave it to Hunter Hayes to release a song that speaks the truth.” The official music video (WATCH HERE) premiered across multiple Viacom music channels including CMT, CMT Music, MTV Live and MTVU. The many-faceted recording artist has also shared a mini-documentary chronicling his writing process alongside Andy Grammer and Dave Spencer, as well as his experience in the studio (WATCH HERE).
Hayes brings a more mischievous energy to his brand new track “One Shot” (LISTEN HERE). Billboard called the “feel-good-about-feeling-bad” song “highly relatable…with the uplifting, hopeful tone that’s a signature of his music.” Simply put: “It’s so, so real” (Just Jared Jr.). With multiple sales certifications, more than 750 million on-demand streams and three chart-topping singles, Hayes shows in these latest releases that he continually evolves.American Songwriter observed that “Hunter Hayes is on a mission to become a household name” when the then-20-year-old released his debut project and he has yet to slow down since. Hailed as a "force to be reckoned with" by the Huffington Post, the Louisiana native has accumulated over 40 award nominations and wins so far.
Hayes recently celebrated the 100 millionth Spotify stream of his 5x multi-platinum single “Wanted,” which received a GRAMMY nomination for Best Country Solo Performance in 2013. Featured on his 2x multi-platinum debut album Hunter Hayes, the smash hit became his first No. 1 single on the country airplay charts and solidified him as the youngest solo male artist to top Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart in over 40 years. The self-titled debut has accumulated over half a billion on-demand streams in the US alone and also includes the platinum-certified No. 1 “Somebody’s Heartbreak,” the 2x multi-platinum “I Want Crazy” and the gold-certified singles “Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me” and “Storm Warning.”