Walker Hayes isn’t the only member of his family who’s found a bigger audience thanks to his viral hit song “Fancy Like.” His oldest daughter, Lela, helped her dad create the dance that goes with the track, and she’s getting noticed because of it.
“She gets recognized all the time now, and she’s real cute about it,” Hayes shares of his daughter, who will turn 16 in December. The singer’s TikTok followers were likely familiar with Lela before the arrival of “Fancy Like” — she’s often found dancing beside her father in his videos — but Hayes says Lela is still getting used to her newfound popularity.
“Some days, it’s fun to her, and then some days, it’s like, ‘Ah, I don’t want to be recognized’ — which, you know, that’s so human. That’s me, too,” explains Hayes, adding that it’s been something of a bonding moment for the pair.
“That’s been cool, being able to walk with her through that. That’s a unique life lesson to learn at 15,” he continues, “but she’s also really getting a good look at how big of an impact on the world some happiness can have, and so that’s cool, too, and I think it’s worth all the cons.”
Hayes admits he’s not sure he’d have the same attitude she does if he were in her shoes: “She’s pretty chill, and really humble,” he says. “If that was me and I was 15, I’d have, like, gold chains on be like, ‘I did that!'”
Now that Applebee’s has begun using “Fancy Like” in its ads — thanks in part to Hayes name-checking the restaurant chain in the song’s chorus — Hayes is dealing with some new haters in addition to his new fans. He understands, though, that “the larger you get, the louder, the bigger, the heckling group gets,” and he’s taking it in stride.
“Look, I love my job. I’m trying to do my best at it and provide for my family,” Hayes says. “I’ve been here 17 years — I would be lying if I said I was still chasing some amount of fame, or even fortune …
“When people hate, I feel like they just assume I’m trying to rebuild country music, you know what I mean?” Hayes adds. “And it’s like, no, I was just having a good time with my buddies writing a song, and that’s how I sound. So, I don’t get mad at ’em.”