Walker Hayes’ life has taken a turn for the fancy these days. Last year, Hayes performed during CMT’s ARTISTS OF THE YEAR CEREMONY and this year he’s being honored.
“Well, that's that was a crazy, crazy leap,” Hayes said. “I mean, just to perform last year was a huge honor for me to be a part of that. It was scary. I was nervous. I was excited. All the good things, and I couldn't believe it. This year, honestly, I couldn't believe it when they we're being honored. I was like, ‘Wait a second. That's really fast from going and not being a part of it to be an honored. So, we're just grateful.”
Hayes released “Fancy Like” in August of 2021 and the hit is not only multiple platinum, it revived the popularity of Applebees. Hayes’ single “AA” is platinum. His album, “Country Stuff,” is certified gold. Hayes’ earned a Grammy nomination. And, he won a Billboard Music Award for Top Country Song.
He’s being honored alongside Kane Brown, Carly Pearce, Luke Combs, Cody Johnson, Lainey Wilson and Alan Jackson at the 2022 CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR event that will debut 9p/8c Friday, October 14, on CMT.
Hayes has a special collaboration on the show with Ciara. However, the most meaningful milestone that he achieved in 2022 was the ability to bring his family on the road with him.
“That’s the most different part of this year, you know, that I can absorb that cost,” he said. “They roll with me on the bus. It's like our home and they go everywhere I go.”
Hayes said he doesn’t know how long the traveling family unit will last; he predicts he’ll be smiling about the memories they’re making together now for decades.
“It's incredible,” he said. “That was fun for me. At my age and as long as we had been in the industry, if they couldn't come out, I don't know how much I could sustain this. I miss them so much. And my kids are 17 to 6, and they need they need me around, and I need to be around them.”
The country singer explained his children loved being on tour with him as much as he loves having them out.
“Lela will be selling bracelets out there,” he said. “It's like a family thing. And obviously, she and I, every other night we do something together, like a dance on TikTok or something. And then my son Chapel, he's a great graphic designer. He's working on some t-shirt designs. And my son Baylor is a drummer, and he works with the merch stuff. So they all kind of have a place out there where they're not sitting around.”
The proud dad even brings his kids on stage at the end of every show and he said his audience goes crazy.
“When they stroll out the tallest to the shortest … I mean, that crowd goes nuts,” he said. “So we're going to remember these days. It's a lot of laundry. It’s hard on Lainey. It's a lot of packing up. But it's just a beautiful, chaotic thing that I think not everybody gets to do that. I'd of given anything to have had this much time with my dad as a kid. So, I'm grateful for that. I'm kind of like, ‘Hey, if that's how we're working, I’ll go anywhere management tells me to go. I’m good with that.”