Walker Hayes Leaned on Kane Brown During ‘Fancy Like’ Performance at CMT Artists of the Year Ceremony
Walker Hayes admits he was scared and very far from his comfort zone as he prepared to sing "Fancy Like" at the end of the CMT Artists of the Year ceremony last week. In fact, he describes himself as being a bit deflated.
Kane Brown pulled him out of it without doing much more than millions of fans worldwide have done since this summer: smiling and dancing. Video (below) finds other country artists doing the same as Hayes plows triumphantly through the song. The next morning, he turned to Instagram to share a long reflection of his emotions and to encourage others to stand up for someone who needs it.
"Fancy Like" is a Top 5 single on country airplay charts and a multi-week No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart. Last Wednesday (Oct. 13) was his first live performance of the song.
"I feel like a dweeb even saying this, but like, last night I was all pumped to sing 'Fancy Like,'" Hayes shares in the video. “We had rehearsed, we had dress rehearsal, all that stuff to close the show out. But as I sat there in the audience, you know, Garth (Brooks) got up, you know Randy Travis was being honored, Chris Stapleton in the audience ... Gabby Barrett, Mickey Guyton, all of these just incredibly talented vocalists, who lean on the traditional side of things."
"I felt my spirit just kind of sinking in my chair because I was like, ‘Oh my god, we’re about to drop the bass on this show, and I’m going to sing about Applebee’s,' and I was like ‘Oh my God, I’m out of my league here,'" he adds.
The 41-year-old singer and songwriter isn't much of a social butterfly, and he shares that he's very uncomfortable on red carpets with other country stars. Seeing his band helped calm him down, but he'd never performed at an awards show before — in fact, the one time he was supposed to he had to cancel because his newborn daughter Oakleigh died.
"I don't have a lot of friends in the business. I'm really just not comfortable hanging," Hayes says, continuing. He has one now.
"I look out and Kane Brown stands up during 'Fancy Like.' And dude, big grin on his face, was just enjoying it from the bottom of his heart. It was in that moment I was like, 'I got this.'"
Guyton, Barrett and so many more can be seen dancing during the performance. It was a total celebration to close a celebratory night. After seeing what Hayes had to say, Brown responded in the comments.
"Hey buddy just know your not alone I felt like that my whole career so far like I had to please other artist and all that crap but just know you don’t! (sic)," he says. "As long as your happy and your getting to do what you love and your fans and family love you that’s all you can ask for man! God bless ya and keep being fancy man."
"And you always have a friend here," Brown adds. See him smiling at about the 2:00 minute mark here.