How Kenny Chesney Inspired Walker Hayes

Could "Shut Up Kenny" Become "Shut Up Walker?"

There’s a song on Walker Hayes’ debut album boom. called “Shut Up Kenny.” It’s kind of like Taylor Swift’s debut single “Tim McGraw” or Eric Church’s “Springsteen,” all about how melodies can spark memories.

“’Shut Up Kenny’ is also a true story. My wife (Laney) and I associate so many memories in our relationship with the timing of Kenny Chesney songs. His song ’Anything But Mine,’ in particular, reminds me of the year we moved to Nashville,” Hayes said in a recent radio interview.

“So many happy memories: us in a U-Haul, us moving into our first little apartment, all great stuff. But one night Laney and I were in a fight, we were past the point of talking. We were actually being dead silent and I flippantly just turn on the radio and ’Anything But Mine’ came on. And that song makes me happy, but I wanted to stay pissed in that moment. So I thought ’Shut up, Kenny!’ and I changed the station, and the same song was on another station,” he said. The song was released 13 years ago, so in 2005, it was on country radio all the time.

“So I took that idea a couple of days later, and me and some buddies (AJ Babcock and Pete Good) wrote it,” Hayes said.

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