Walker Hayes Earns His Rite of Passage at Country’s Mother Church: 

‘This Is a Huge Deal for Me’

Walker Hayes finally has made his mark in country music, with his recent performance at the historic Ryman Theater last Friday night (April 29).  It’s a major milestone.

I feel like I’ve always been that artist that maybe country music has tried to shut the door on, and somehow, we’ve just kept a foot in it and wouldn’t let it close,” Hayes told PEOPLE, before the show.

Hayes lost two record deals and was coined as a pop/hip-hop country act, before his hit “Fancy Like,” took the genre by storm.  His song, “You Broke Up With Me,” got him an appearance on Oprah, when it charted.  Hayes wrote the song about getting dropped from a record deal.

And that’s not all.  When Hayes had been invited to his first major country music awards show, he had to cancel – because he and his wife lost their seventh child at birth, and almost lost her, as well.

But another child helped his career turn a corner.

TikTok-famed “Fancy Like” is a song Hayes wrote with his daughter Lela, which went triple platinum, last year.

It was also Hayes’ first radio number one.

The song gave him newfound fame, which, surely, won’t go away anytime soon.

He’s been bringing his family along for his stadium tour.

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