Though Hunter Hayes is already wildly successful at just 22 years old, it turns out the country music star didn't always lead such a charmed life. The I Want Crazy singer recently opened up to ET's Nancy O'Dell to talk about his new single Invisible which he'll debut at this Sunday's Grammys, which is also extremely personal to him given its subject matter -- bullying.
"To me it's also just about being misunderstood," Hayes said about his new single. "Just me being in high school, just the smallest scale I know compared to a lot of stories that I've heard, a lot of people that I've met ... yes, I was a total geek, I was a total nerd, and you know, I still am, and I'm proud of that. But it took me a while to realize that it's OK to be proud of that, right? Because in that time and period of my life, if you didn't fit in, what else was there? Fortunately for me I had incredible parents, I had an incredible support system, musicians around me, and that showed me that there was hope -- that there was maybe something else I could look forward to."
And it's his parents' guidance that he is still grateful for to this day.
"They've always been incredibly supportive, and it's like, we get to celebrate now," he smiled. " ... When I was young, they managed me to essentially watch out for their son and they were always looking out for me -- not just business, but like, making sure it was real. They've always looked after me like that."
Hayes is nominated for a Grammy for Best Country Solo Performance for I Want Crazy this year, and is also looking forward to his Grammy performance of Invisible -- though he admits he's of course a little nervous!
"This is the first time I'm really going to perform a song without an instrument ... which is a very uncomfortable thing for me," he confessed. "I want to know that I've got nothing in my mind but singing this song. Good lord willing somebody hears this song and it means something to somebody. Somebody. One person. I'll be like, stoked -- that's what I'm hoping for I guess. ... I'm incredibly fearful about how incredibly emotional this song makes me."
Watch the video to hear how Hayes got his first guitar from Robert Duvall at just six years old, and for a preview of what we can expect from the Invisible music video!
Tune into the Grammys this Sunday for Hayes' sure-to-be emotional performance, where ET is also going live! We're pairing up with TVGN to bring you the red carpet live; be sure to tune in to TVGN Live with ET at the Grammys, on Sunday, January 26 at 5:00 PM ET/PT. To find your channel go to www.TVGN.tv.