Walker Hayes found comfort in Kane Brown’s support at the 2021 CMT Artists of The Year event.
During a recent Instagram live, Hayes opened up saying he worried that he was out of his league and was “nervous” at the CMT Artists Of The Year ceremony in Nashville, Tennessee, after watching Garth Brooks, Chris Stapleton, Gabby Barrett, Mickey Guyton and Randy Travis take the stage before he closed out the show with an epic dance party to his viral hit, “Fancy Like.”
“Last night at CMT, I feel like a dweeb even saying this, but like, I was all pumped to sing ‘Fancy Like,'” Hayes said in an Instagram live, just one day after his performance on the CMT special. “I was like, ‘let’s go!’ We had rehearsed, we had dress rehearsal, all that stuff to close the show out. But as I sat there in the audience, you know, Garth [Brooks] got up, you know, Randy Travis was being honored, Chris Stapleton in the audience, you know, Gabby Barrett, Mickey Guyton, all of these just incredibly talented vocalists, who lean on the traditional side of things.”
Hayes continued, “And as I was watching the show, I was just like, I felt my spirit just kind of sinking in my chair because I was like, ‘Oh my god, we’re about to drop the bass on this show, and I’m going to sing about Applebee’s, and I was like ‘oh my God, I’m out of my league here.'”
“I don’t [have] a lot of friends in the business, and I’m not good at hanging, I’m a little uncomfortable hanging with all these famous people,” Hayes also admitted.
As Hayes performed his chart-climbing hit, “Fancy Like,” closing out the star-studded awards ceremony, he admitted to feeling comfortable when Kane Brown stood up for him, smiling as he swayed along to the viral tune.
“I look out, and Kane Brown stands up during ‘Fancy Like.'” Hayes added during his livestream on Instagram. “And dude just, big grin on his face, and was just enjoying it from the bottom of his heart. And it was a moment, I was like, ‘I got this.’ Which was funny because I looked right behind him and Laney was standing up too, and I noticed a couple other artists too.”
Hayes then told fans to always be kind and try to make someone’s day by showcasing your support for them, even if it is a small gesture.
“I’m just saying, stand up for somebody today, you don’t know what an impact it could have on somebody,” Hayes added. “It’s just crazy how tiny things, turn into big things, and you don’t know what it means to somebody when you stand up for them.”
Brown replied to Hayes’ video on Instagram, telling the “U Gurl” singer that “you always have a friend here!”
“Hey buddy just know you’re not alone I felt like that my whole career so far like I had to please other artist and all that crap but just know you don’t!” Brown also said. “As long as you’re happy, and you’re getting to do what you love and your fans and family love you that’s all you can ask for man! God bless ya and keep being fancy man 💪🏾”
See Hayes’ full CMT Artists Of The Year performance below.