Walker Hayes Still Eats at Applebee’s After ‘Fancy Like’ Success [EXCLUSIVE]

Walker Hayes had no idea that his impromptu TikTok dance with his daughter Lela for “Fancy Like,” would change his entire life, but that’s exactly what happened. The dance went viral, causing the song, and Hayes, to become one of the biggest success stories of the last year

“There was a massive, massive song on pop radio called “Astronaut In The Ocean,” Hayes recalls to Everything Nash. “It was everywhere. My kids were joking like, ‘Dad, your fanbase is big, but it ain’t gonna pass that song.’ And it did during the day. I remember my management calling me and being like, ‘Dude, your song is No. 1, all genre, by far. The next thing is this many streams down, or this many sales down.’ And at that moment I was like, ‘Wow. This is a world thing now. It’s not a genre thing. It’s an everything thing.'”

It was then that Hayes realized that his family’s life was about to change, for the better, thanks to the power of one song.

“I think it was at that moment that I began to try to process what’s going on,” Hayes says. “I can’t say that we have fully absorbed how this will affect our lives. It’s still very young. This song just came out in July, so it’s not a year old. I think every day we’re getting little bits of pieces of, ‘This is what life looks like now, especially career-wise.’ But in the same sense, it doesn’t really change life at home. We’re the same folks. We still eat at Applebees. We eat there more often actually.”

One thing that has changed in Hayes’ family is the ability for them all to go on the road. Because of “Fancy Like,” Hayes was able to purchase a second bus, allowing his entire family to join him on tour.

“Honestly, right now, it is the dream,” Hayes told People. “We are drinking from a fire hose of joy. I mean, we are probably the most annoyingly happy bunch of people to be around. We’re just so grateful.”

“Fancy Like” is from Hayes’ latest Country Stuff The Album, The song is one of several that the father of six created while home and off the road due to the pandemic — an unexpected silver lining amid so much heartache.

“Before we had even written ‘Fancy Like,’ I was talking to my team about how much I loved getting back to the writer me over COVID, ’cause that’s all I could do,” Hayes tells Everything Nash. “What I noticed and my team noticed is, they just started listening to my songs again, like a writer, and it was different every day. They never knew what to expect, but they enjoyed the left turns that my music took.”

Country Stuff The Album has a wide variety of songs, including  “U Gurl,” “Drinking Songs,” “Craig” and more.

“Honestly, a lot of the stuff I wrote was faith-based, and was about my relationship with Christ,” Hayes says. “And then I would turn in ‘Drinking Songs,’ and they’d be like, ‘Whoa, this is so different from yesterday.’ And then the next day would be completely different.”

Hayes just received five ACM Awards nominations — his first — including New Male Artist of the Year, and Song of the Year, for “Fancy Like.” He is currently on his Fancy Like Tour. Find tour dates, and purchase Country Stuff The Album, at WalkerHayes.com.

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