“Fancy Like”: Walker Hayes’ ode to Applebee’s
In his home outside of Nashville, it doesn’t take long for country music artist Walker Hayes to state the obvious: “There is nothing fancy about my studio.” And yet, in that room not even big enough for a bed, he landed one of the biggest hits of the year.
“Yeah, we fancy Applebee on a date night
I had that Bourbon Street steak with the Oreo Shake
Also put some whipped cream on top
Two straws, a check, my daughter, I got you … “
“Fancy Like” put Hayes at the top of the Country chartsâ¦ and put Applebee on the tip of almost everyone’s tongue.
Hayes told correspondent Lee Cowan: “I think we all thought it was either going to end your career or just blow it up, you know? But we didn’t know that.”
It wasn’t just the hook; it was the contagious dance that Walker’s daughter invented to accompany him.
Hayes said it took a long time for him to master the movements. Her daughter, Lela, confirmed, “Dad couldn’t do this thing – right across, in the middle, up!”
After posting it on TikTok, the song – and the dance – exploded. People everywhere have started doing it. And Applebee’s was quick to catch the viral wave:
The Oreo Shake was actually off the menu when the song hit hard – but Applebee’s has now been forced to put it back.
Hayes said, âI can’t wait to have grandchildren and bring them here, and I’m just going to brag all the time and say, ‘That’s good, isn’t it? Do you know why he lives here? Because I brought it back! ‘”
“Fancy Like” was not written to be a jingle – it is more of a diary entry. Hayes is a regular at the Applebee, and when you’ve got six mouths to feed, whimsy is relative. He doesn’t live in a mansion in Nashville, but in a sane house in a sane country neighborhood. He and his wife, Laney, moved here from Alabama 17 years ago, and Walker got a recording deal almost immediately.
“What is so difficult about this city? Like, it doesn’t matter. I have a recording contract. You know they dress me in nice clothes, take pictures. And then I fell, “he said.
And then he fell again.
“All the labels in town had transmitted to me several times. To numb me, I drank a ton, you know, while I was writing, while I was doing concerts.”
He eventually found himself working the morning shift like Costco, just to feed his family.
Cowan said, âBut you never stopped writing, did you?
âWell, I wanted to. I started to feel like I was a worse father as I continued to pursue this dream. For example, am I a good father or is it time for me to grow up? “
He got sober, gave up worrying about the radio, and started writing about what mattered to him.
âThere was a kind of reckless abandonment to the things I would write,â he said. “They were just real. They were emotional.”
“And really personal?
“Oh, so personal.”
His 2017 single “You Broke Up With Me” climbed higher on the charts than anything he had written before:
He was climbing high, but the tragedy remained. What would have been the couple’s seventh child, Oakleigh, died at birth.
âI had been sober for two years,â said Hayes, âand I drove to a bar, and I just wanted to fight. I just wanted to get hammered and beaten. But, the Lord had to. other plans. I I didn’t have my wallet. “
Instead, he went to an AA meeting.
Since then, Hayes has written about what he fears and loves.
His family might not be “fancy”, but they know how to celebrate a father who, after all these years, has finally made his dream come true: “Fancy Like” has become Double Platinum.
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Story produced by Dustin Stephens. Publisher: Steven Tyler.