In this heartwarming track, the father of six and loving husband reflects on his success but also acknowledges Laney’s presence throughout his life and how she has always stood by his side as a romantic partner and as his biggest fan.
Throughout the song, Hayes expresses his excitement for his rise to fame calling it a “crazy ride we’re on” but also notes, “but I know as fast as fame has came / fame is gonna be gone.”
“When my fifteen minutes ends / And the world loves me a little less / I hope you know that you’re the only one / I was trying to impress / If I sold out Bryant Denny’s / Make my sweet home so proud / All I ever cared about, all I ever cared about / Was your face in the crowd,” he sings throughout the sing-along chorus of the catchy track, which features a toe-tapping country/hip-hop beat.
Hayes also released a music video that pairs nicely with the track inspired by his wife.
The visual display features the Alabama native crooning the touching song lyrics from inside an empty arena while playing on his acoustic guitar. Other clips in the video show him performing in front of a packed audience, and interacting with his fans. But the best part is his children and wife make appearances in the clip. Lainey makes various cameos in select scenes and joins her country singer husband at the end of the clip as they share a sweet hug before the screen goes black.
Hayes was nominated for New Artist of the Year at the 56th annual CMA Awards. And although he did not win (that trophy went to Lainey Wilson), he did take to social media to share how “Face In The Crowd” represents the acceptance speech he would have given had he claimed the prize.
“Was honored to be nominated for a CMA award but the acceptance speech I would’ve made dropped just now,” Hayes captioned on Instagram, alongside a clip of the music video for “Face In The Crowd.”
“I can’t say how grateful I am for the last year of my life. It changed a lot for me and my family, but at the end of the day, money doesn’t fix anything,” he added in a press release. “We’ve been doing this a long time, and we were happy when we were poor, too. We’re just lucky to have each other, and that’s really all that matters.”
Hayes shot to fame in the summer of 2021 thanks in part to his family, specifically his daughter, Lela, who helped him go viral with his song “Fancy Like,” which sparked a dance craze on TikTok. The song became so popular it led to Applebee’s bringing back its Oreo milkshakes, which had been taken off the menu, a gold card to Applebee’s and also earned Hayes his first Grammy nomination.
“Face In The Crowd,” written by Hayes alongside Emily Falvey and Tofer Brown, and produced by Hayes with Joe Thibodeau, follows a track record of songs that showcase Lainey as the muse behind the singer-songwriter’s pen. Songs “Fancy Like” and “AA” have stemmed from Hayes’ personal life with his bride, who technically is his high school sweetheart.
Hayes and Lainey met in elementary school and began dating in high school. They tied the knot in June 2004 and have remained happily married since.