Grammy Award nominee Hunter Hayes has Robert Duvall to thank for his musical success because a musical gift The Godfather star gave him for his sixth birthday inspired him to become a big star.

The singer met the movie star in a Louisiana restaurant while Duvall was shooting The Apostle in the state and invited the actor to check out his band.

He recalls, "I just happened to be at a restaurant that he was having dinner at that night and I was playing with a band... and I met him and he invited me to go and be a part of the movie, and I was like, 'Sure, play music in a movie? Why not'."

The unlikely duo became fast friends and a parting gift set Hayes on his way as a star: "I was given a guitar for my sixth birthday and that was the real end of it."

The guitar was a present from Duvall.