Thousands of fans turned out to help Hunter Hayes kick off CMA Awards week with a surprise-packed free street party in downtown Nashville that included a special salute to a special soldier.
Hayes helped Country Music Association CEO Sarah Trahern give four tickets to Wednesday’s “The 48th Annual CMA Awards” to Sergeant First Class Tyler Arnold and pay tribute to several Fort Campbell servicemen and women in attendance as part of the USO’s “Every Moment Counts” campaign on Monday, Nov. 3. Hayes has partnered with the USO to create special #USOmoments for troops and their families at each of the award-winning singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist’s Tattoo (Your Name) Tour stops.
“We’ve been fortunate to play a few shows specifically for our servicemen and women, exclusively for them, and it’s a great honor,” Hayes said before playing “Love Too Much” from his current album, Storyline. “Every night in the show we dedicate this song to all of our men and women serving all over the world … as well as their families. They miss so many beautiful moments with their families so they can go serve, so we can get together and do things like this.”
Arnold, of Norfolk, Va., has been deployed overseas six times during his military career, including stints in Iraq and Afghanistan. The USO honored him for his service and sacrifice and the strength he showed missing “moments” with his wife and two daughters during his deployment.
A series of guests joined Hayes on stage during the hit-filled show, including Kellie Pickler, Kristian Bush of Sugarland, Charlie Worsham and Tattoo (Your Name) Tour mates Dan + Shay and The Railers. Fans filled the courtyard of the Bridgestone Arena for the outdoor show and spilled into the streets, often singing along with Hayes.
Future dates for the Tattoo (Your Name) Tour (*denotes special “Wild Card” show):
Nov. 13, 2014 BMO Harris Bradley Center | Milwaukee, Wisc.
Nov. 14, 2014 iWireless Center | Moline, Ill.
Nov. 15, 2014 Sprint Center | Kansas City, Mo.
Nov. 20, 2014 Chaifetz Arena | St. Louis, Mo.
Nov. 21, 2014 Sears Centre Arena | Chicago, Ill.
Nov. 22, 2014 The Palace of Auburn Hills | Detroit, Mich.
Nov. 29, 2014 Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie | Dallas, Texas*
Dec. 4, 2014 Lakefront Arena | New Orleans, La.
Dec. 5, 2014 Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena | Jacksonville, Fla.
Dec. 6, 2014 Arena at Gwinnett Center | Atlanta, Ga.
Dec. 11, 2014 Wolstein Center | Cleveland, Ohio
Dec. 12, 2014 Rogers K-Rock Centre | Kingston, ONT Canada
Dec. 13, 2014 Budweiser Gardens | London, ONT Canada