Walker Hayes And Co-Author Craig Cooper Talks New Book, Music Career, And Faith: “Nashville Beat Me Up”

Walker Hayes shares the heartwarming inspiration behind his single, "Craig."

Country music hitmaker Walker Hayes and co-author Craig Allen Cooper recently (May 3) dropped their highly-anticipated book, “Glad You’re Here: Two Unlikely Friends Breaking Bread and Fences.”

Following the release, the two sat down with Hoda Kotb and Willie Geist on Today to discuss the faith-centric novel at length. Within the pages of the hardcover, Hayes explains how Cooper became his saving grace when he was battling alcoholism, grieving the loss of a child, and struggling to find his footing in the music industry. The way Cooper introduced Christ altered Hayes’ misconceptions of Christianity.

When the award-winning musician was struggling, he was seeking answers and “needed to feel welcomed.” He continued to share that Craig and his family lifted him up when he was at the lowest of the low.

“Nashville beat me up, I was an alcoholic, Laney and I had lost a kid. It was tough, and Craig’s — the unconditional love (from) Craig and his family truly changed my life,” he told the outlet. “We saw Jesus in them so clearly. And that’s coming from an atheist….so that’s wild. And again, it’s just wild that we’re sharing a book about Jesus.”

Hayes and Cooper developed their reliable relationship at church, but now the close friendship went beyond the pews.

“We’re neighbors now. It’s insane, and I love this guy. I love his family, and I’m just glad we get to do life together,” he added about the pastor.

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