Light Me Up (Hunter Hayes song)

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"Light Me Up"
Single by Hunter Hayes
from the album I Want Crazy
ReleasedMarch 13, 2015 (2015-03-13)
FormatDigital download
Recorded2011—13, 2015
  • 4:04 (album version)
  • 3:29 (single version)
Hunter Hayes singles chronology
"Light Me Up"

"Light Me Up" is a song written and recorded by American country music artist Hunter Hayes. Co-written by busbee and Shane McAnally, it was originally recorded for Hayes's self-titled debut studio album (2011) but was only included on the 2013 Encore edition re-issue.[2] The song was re-recorded in 2015, and was released to the UK and Oceania on March 13, 2015[3] as the lead single for Hayes's international compilation album, I Want Crazy (2015).[4]


"Light Me Up" was written by Hayes with pop songwriter busbee and country music singer Shane McAnally as an upbeat country pop song about the excitement of love. Beginning with a drum loop and B-3, its instrumentation later incorporates guitar, banjo, and bouzouki.[5][6] Bob Paxman at Country Weekly described the chorus, which features firework and sunshine imagery, as "uplifting".[5]

The UK single version downplays the country elements of the original for a more pop-oriented sound.[7] Drawing influences from electropop[1] and dance-pop,[7] the remix features a more heavily processed vocal and synthesized backbeat.

Background and release[edit]

Conceived during the writing sessions for Hayes's self-titled debut studio album, "Light Me Up" was originally recorded sometime in 2011 but was ultimately not included on the original release of the album due to not fitting the tone of the album at the time.[8] In 2012, the song was re-recorded and offered to fans for free through Hayes' official Facebook page as part of a partnership with Country Financial.[9] After the success of "Wanted" and the inspiration he received during his Most Wanted Tour, Hayes began working on new material. It was mutually decided by Hayes and his label in late 2012 that it "[wasn't] necessarily the right time... to make a new record," so the Encore edition of the album was developed as an alternative to make the newly-written songs and a handful of re-recorded tracks (including a new version of "Light Me Up") available to the fans.[10][11] In 2015, the song was partially re-recorded for a fourth time and given a pop mix for an exclusive UK single release.

Critical reception[edit]

"Light Me Up" was mostly well received by critics in review for its parent album. Marc Engel of Fox News praised the mainstream appeal of the song, noting that "with chiming guitars plus a sing-a-long chorus it’s easy to understand why “Light Me Up” has become a fan favorite."[12] Matt Bjorke at Roughstock wrote that the song "feel[s] like [a] potential hit" and "gets the listener in a good mood," while complimenting Hayes's use of the song as a concert opener.[13] Robert Silva at was more critical of the song's repetitive lyrics and the overall same-ness of the new tracks on Encore.[14]

Commercial performance[edit]

Upon the release of Hunter Hayes (Encore), "Light Me Up" sold over 13,000 units.[15] This prompted a number 50 debut on the Billboard Country Digital Songs (the digital sales component of Hot Country Songs).[16]

Music video[edit]

A lyric video for the UK version of the song premiered January 22, 2015 which depicts the lyrics to the song in neon lights.[17]

The official music video premiered February 9, 2015 exclusively through Digital Spy.[18] It features Hayes playing the guitar, keyboard, and drums to the song, and "letting his inner rock star out."[18][19]


Credits adapted from the Hunter Hayes (Encore) album liner.[6]


Chart (2013) Peak
US Country Digital Songs (Billboard)[16] 50

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label Ref.
Australia March 13, 2015 Digital download Atlantic Records [20]
Ireland [21]
New Zealand [22]
United Kingdom [3]
March 16, 2015 Mainstream radio [23]


  1. ^ a b Calvert, Gemma (20 January 2015). "Alarm Pop: Hunter Hayes is lighting the UK up with new track 'Light Me Up.'". Maximum Pop UK. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  2. ^ Brodsky, Rachel. "Download Hunter Hayes' New Song, 'Light Me Up,' For FREE!". MTV Buzzworthy. Viacom. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Light Me Up (UK Version) - Single by Hunter Hayes". iTunes Store (GB). Apple Inc. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  4. ^ "I Want Crazy by Hunter Hayes". iTunes Store (UK). Apple Inc. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  5. ^ a b Paxman, Bob (18 June 2013). "Hunter Hayes (Encore) by Hunter Hayes". Country Weekly. American Media. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  6. ^ a b Hunter Hayes (Encore) (Compact disc liner notes). Hunter Hayes. Atlantic Records / Warner Music. 2013. B00C6P7IFW.CS1 maint: others (link)
  7. ^ a b Ellwood, Pip (19 January 2015). "Hunter Hayes to release new single Light Me Up". Entertainment Focus. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  8. ^ Mansfield, Brian (17 June 2013). "Hunter Hayes extends debut album with '(Encore)'". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  9. ^ "Hunter Hayes Gives Fans Free Download Of 'Light Me Up'". All Access Media Group. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  10. ^ Hampp, Andrew (4 June 2013). "Hunter Hayes Announces CMT Tour, Talks 'Encore' Album Out June 18". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  11. ^ Vena, Jocelyn (17 June 2013). "Hunter Hayes Just Needed To 'Reset' To Write Encore Tunes". MTV. Viacom. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  12. ^ Engel, Marc (17 June 2013). "Album Review: Hunter Hayes, (Encore)". Fox News Magazine. Fox Entertainment Group. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  13. ^ Bjorke, Matt (19 June 2013). "Album Review: Hunter Hayes – Hunter Hayes (ENCORE)". Roughstock. Cheri Media. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  14. ^ Silva, Robert. "Hunter Hayes - 'Hunter Hayes (Encore)' Album Review". Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  15. ^ Bjoke, Matt (June 26, 2013). "Country Chart News - The Top 30 Digital Singles: The Week of June 26, 2013: Danielle Bradbery, Hunter Hayes, The Swon Brothers, Florida Georgia Line Dominates". Archived from the original on September 19, 2013. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  16. ^ a b "Hunter Hayes Album & Song Chart History". Billboard Country Digital Songs for Hunter Hayes. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  17. ^ "Hunter Hayes "Light Me Up" (Official Lyric Video Premiere)". Ultimate Music. josepvinaixa. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  18. ^ a b Corner, Lewis (9 February 2015). "Exclusive: Premiere: Hunter Hayes unveils 'Light Me Up' music video". Digital Spy. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  19. ^ Kevipod (9 February 2015). "Hunter Hayes Releases 2013's "Light Me Up" As New Single: Watch The Music Video!". directlyrics. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  20. ^ "Light Me Up - Single by Hunter Hayes". iTunes Store (AU). Apple Inc. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  21. ^ "Light Me Up - Single by Hunter Hayes". iTunes Store (IE). Apple Inc. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  22. ^ "Light Me Up - Single by Hunter Hayes". iTunes Store (NZ). Apple Inc. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  23. ^ "Radio1 - New UK Singles". Radio1. 7 February 2015. Archived from the original on 11 February 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015.