Carnival Liberty guests were treated to a surprise concert by award-winning country music star Hunter Hayes who performed two intimate shows in the ship’s 1,400-seat Venetian Palace theater earlier this week.

Organized by Carnival’s in-house entertainment department, the impromptu free-of-charge show was part of the line’s popular Carnival LIVE concert series which brings the best in music and comedy to sea.

One of country music’s hottest young stars, Hayes is a talented singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist best known for his hit single “Wanted,” which has sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide.  He has been nominated for numerous musical honors, winning three BMI Awards and earning the Country Music Association Award for New Artist of the Year in 2012.

Hayes joined a roster of top-selling artists who have performed aboard Carnival ships this year, including country music stars Sam Hunt and Trace Adkins, comedians Chris Tucker, Kathy Griffin and Jim Gaffigan, rock legends Journey, and R&B favorites Gladys Knight and KC & The Sunshine Band.  Next year’s lineup includes country artists Tim McGraw and Little Big Town and comedians Jay Leno and Jeff Foxworthy.