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Getting 'Fancy Like' With Walker and Laney Hayes

Even if you've been living under a rock for the last six months, you've no doubt heard Walker Hayes' 'Fancy Like' on the radio, or on a TV commercial or watched him dance with his daughter Lela on Tik Tok. Hayes has been working in and around country music for at least the last 12 years, and just now has become a household name because of one song. "I was just having some fun and all of a sudden, this is happening. I didn't have an agenda. I didn't calculate. I didn't do a dance with my daughter to blow up on Tik Tok. I mean I had just figured out Instagram!"

Hayes continues, "This song, 'Fancy Like' crept in. My career was tiny, but it was enough. Everything has completely fallen from the sky. Released in June 2021 - only 5 months old and I just got a double platinum status. Nobody could have predicted this. It is so funny to try to describe what has happened. Laney and I just look at each other like 'What is going on?' Having the biggest song in the world? I don't think we ever even considered it." 

After working at Costco during one point in his career to make ends meet, Hayes can't contain his disbelief. "What is going on right now is the pinnacle of the dream. I've seen people way more talented than me go home. I've seen how many tiny things can make you miss an opportunity. We are in utter disbelief every day." 

Hayes' wife of almost 18 years, Laney, reveals, "We are still definitely acclimating to it. There's a learning curve to jumping back in to life like this. It's trying to figure out the balance. We're so grateful and it's a good problem to try to figure out. How do we get family time? How do we get time off for Walker?" She continues, "The thing that has been a hard adjustment for me is that I have always been so present and constant with the kids, and trying to help Walker take things off his plate keeps me busier and the kids are having to do some things on their own. But they're really understanding." Hayes responds, "If there's a perfect mom, it's right here. She home schools them, plays with them, gets down on the ground with them, kisses them goodnight. She does it all."

Their 15-year-old daughter, Lela has become somewhat of a breakout star herself, choreographing Tik Tok dances with her Dad. Laney maintains, "We protect Lela a little bit from social media because we know how easily you can get wrapped up in it. It's ironic that she blew up on Tik Tok with her Dad. I don't want her buying in to the good or the bad of it. It's hard enough to be 15." 

In January, as the Hayes family prepares to head out on the road, Hayes says, "We'll have two buses and tour as a family. It will be life-changing for us because we definitely function better as a family." 

But their family has not been without struggle. The ups and downs of Walker's career, his struggle with alcoholism and the loss of their infant daughter Oakleigh, just a few hours after her birth in 2018. "Losing Oakleigh was the birth of our faith. The way we both looked at life the day after that. We were so sad and so mad. Everything we thought we knew was wrong. We just didn't know what we didn't have control over. We had never been brought to our knees like that," says Walker.

Much of that struggle will be chronicled in Hayes' next project, a book he's co-authoring with his friend and neighbor Craig Cooper titled, I'm Glad You're Here. Hayes says, "We bought this house {in Thompson's Station} because Craig lives next door. His first words to me were 'Im glad you're here.' Craig gave the Hayes' family a van when they were struggling. His kindness meant that the family would have a vehicle big enough for all of the six Hayes kids to have a seatbelt. "He supported me so I want to support him." Walker also started the Be A Craig Fund and wants to encourage individuals to seek out opportunities to help others.

Walker tells Franklin Lifestyle, "We're trying hard not to try so hard and do the right thing with all of this. We're so grateful for our adventurous life. From sunrise to sundown, we are never bored! Gratitude is the biggest word in our life right now." WalkerHayes.com 

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