Sometimes a simple act of kindness can go a long way and that’s exactly the case for Walker Hayes, who was deeply impacted by a gesture from Kane Brown at the 2021 CMT Artists of the Year ceremony.
Hayes, 41, was preparing to take the stage for his awards show debut with a performance of “Fancy Like” when he began to feel nervous. The singer/songwriter took to Instagram the following morning to reflect on the moment and share how one of his peers helped in get by.
“I feel like a dweeb even saying this, but like, last night I was all pumped to sing ‘Fancy Like,’” Hayes shared in the Instagram clip. “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 added.
View this post on Instagram
The dedicated father and husband said he initially found comfort in his wife and band, but admitted he still felt out of place and sometimes even feels uncomfortable walking the red carpet with his peers.
“I don’t have a lot of friends in the business. I’m really just not comfortable hanging,” Hayes confessed.
That’s where Brown comes in.
“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,’” Hayes recalled.
After Hayes posted the confessional video, Brown responded in the comments with an uplifting message.
“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),” the “One Mississippi” singer wrote. “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.”
Brown later added, “And you always have a friend here!”
Hayes received an overwhelming amount of support in the comments section, with many followers praising him for being down to Earth and always keeping it real.
Impacted by Brown’s kind gesture, Hayes encouraged others to “stand up for somebody.”
“Fancy Like” is one of the most buzzed-about tracks released in 2021.
Featured on Hayes’ Country Stuff EP and co-written by Hayes alongside Cameron Bartolini, Josh Jenkins, and Shane Stevens, “Fancy Like” has reached the top of every country streaming and sales chart since its June release and spent 12 weeks (and counting) atop Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Chart. It’s also ranked among the Top 5 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs.
Click above to re-live Hayes’ performance of “Fancy Like” at CMT Artists of the Year.