“Fancy Like” has been “the song of the summer,” according to the Today show’s Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush. (He helped them record their first-ever TikTok video in June.) And if the song has been stuck in your head since it was released in June, you ain’t heard nothin’ yet. Mobile native Walker Hayes is about to get a lot more mileage out of his chart-topping single.
With its fond mention of date nights at Applebee’s, “Fancy Like” is now featured on ads for the restaurant chain and is even credited with bringing back the Oreo milkshake that’s mentioned in the song, along with the Bourbon Street steak. After teasing about a collaboration with Kesha on Instagram, Hayes and the pop star have released a remix of the song in which Kesha substitutes her own verse for one of his.
“Take me to Waffle House, give me those cheap thrills chillin’ in the deep South,” she sings.
But the song, which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country chart this summer, has had plenty of momentum already thanks to a viral TikTok video. Not long after his EP, “Country Stuff,” was released, Hayes and his oldest daughter, Lela, made up a dance to accompany “Fancy Like.”
He jokingly refers to 15-year-old Lela as “co-creator” of the “Fancy Like” dance, filmed on the porch of their Nashville home before it became a sensation on social media.
Hayes and his wife, Laney, have six children and “one in heaven,” their last child, Oakleigh. The happy family of three boys and three girls is featured prominently on his Instagram, providing a glimpse into their home. Viewers can plainly see the writing on the walls, literally – they make it a habit to write their favorite Bible verses on the walls. Their two dogs, a Goldendoodle and a cockapoo, make frequent appearances.
Hayes, 41, whose late father, Charles Hayes, was a well-known Realtor in Mobile, started singing as a child in Spring Hill Baptist Church, he told the Press-Register in 2011. He met Laney Beville Hayes at St. Paul’s Episcopal School, where they were both cast in the musical “Little Shop of Horrors.”
Together since 1997, the couple have been married for 17 years. After studying music at Birmingham-Southern College, Hayes moved to Nashville in 2005 to write songs for a music publishing company. Prior to “Fancy Like,” his biggest hit was the pop-tinged “You Broke Up With Me” in 2017.
Hayes has said that “Fancy Like” is a tongue-in-cheek response to those who imagine celebrities living large. Instead – as his social media attests – the close-knit Hayes family is down-to-earth and accessible, and he insists that he and Laney really do eat at Applebee’s on date nights. They’re fancy like that.
On TikTok, Hayes proves that he has a great sense of humor, even sharing a video of someone pulling out their radio and beating it because they hate the infectious “Fancy Like” so much.
He performed the song, sans dance, Thursday on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”