Walker Hayes Crowned CMT Artist of the Year, Thanks His “Super Sexy” Wife Laney for Believing in His Dreams

Walker Hayes was honored as one of five CMT Artists of the Year for 2022 at a celebration in Nashville at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

The Alabama-born and ‘Fancy Like’ singer was introduced to the stage by longtime friends Shane McAnally and Kelsea Ballerini, who shared memories of working with the hitmaker over the years and praised his artistry. .

After being greeted on stage by McAnally and Ballerini, Hayes was given the spotlight to accept CMT’s prestigious honor in front of the star-studded audience.

“Thanks guys, I mean I don’t get a lot of awards so I apologize if this is really bad,” Hayes said as he accepted the CMT Artist of the Year award. “The last award I got was in grade 9 for the student who improved the most. I didn’t have to give a speech.

He continued to gushed about his “amazing” team that helped him achieve the success he has had so far and thanked McAnally for believing in him.

“Look guys, my team is amazing. I’ve been waiting to stand behind the mic and talk about this guy here, this is a true story,” Hayes continued. “He didn’t have to give me his real email address…but he did, so praise God for Shane McAnally. There’s a guy named Robert Carlton. He’s the best sounding guy in this town, as far as I’m concerned, and it’s him that I turn them all into and if he says he likes it, we go, and if he says no, I don’t really fight him, I just believe what he said and I get over myself and throw it in the trash. So thank you Robert Carlton for everything.

Hayes went on to thank his wife, Laney Beville Hayes, their six children as well as his management team and record label.

“My wife Laney, holy cow, she’s super sexy and super awesome. She’s been next to me guys, she’s been throwing a lot of heartbreaks along this wave and never woman ever said, “Hey, do you think you want to have a more normal ambition or a more realistic dream” . Not once,” Hayes added. “My kids obviously have to thank them because they make me dance on TikTok. Lela, Chapel, Baylor, Beckett, Everly and Loxley, not in that order, that’s a lot of names to remember. I can’t thank my monument enough, my label, Smack Songs, Marissa, Bryan, my tour manager and my band, holy cow, they’re awesome, and the fans last but not least, they’re the reason I get to sing these weird songs. Thank you.”

During the show, Hayes also presented the live debut of the new version of “Y’all Life” featuring GRAMMY Award-winning superstar Ciara.

The viral hitmaker kicked off the performance by singing the song’s opening verse alone before Ciara, dressed in a black leather ensemble with rhinestone cowboy boots and a bedazzled cowboy hat, performed it. join for his verse.

The pair then joined forces during the track’s closing choruses that celebrate life in the south.

“We livin’ this life, y’all / Rollin’ in the South / Where it’s all football and Jesus (Jesus) / Barbershop talk like nah / Shut your mouth, my mama’s sweet tea is the sweetest,” Hayes and Ciara sing in synchronization.

Before the show, Hayes talked about the new version of “Y’all Life” featuring Ciara and recalled how he brought the GRAMMY winner to the track with him.

“I’m a huge Ciara fan and last year when I played ‘Fancy Like’ and ‘AA’ on New Years Eve I heard her in my ears and she was vibrating,” he said. -he explains. “She was like dancing and singing to ‘AA’ and so into my mic for a [commercial] pause, I said “hey Ciara, are you really depressed or are you kidding me”, just joking. She was like ‘no, I love it’ and I said ‘well, at some point, let’s collaborate.’ I said ‘I would love to collaborate with you’ and she said ‘yeah’ and then when ‘Y’all Life’ came up I remembered I said that and she agreed and I was like ‘I am [going to] take you [on that].’ She could have said no, but she was really screwed. She called me back singing the song. She voice texted me and she was all in and this is the first performance of “Y’all Life” with Ciara.

The 2022 CMT Artists of the Year celebrated the success that Carly Pearce, Kane Brown, Cody Johnson, Luke Combs and Walker Hayes have enjoyed throughout the past year.

Alan Jackson was honored as a CMT Artist of a Lifetime. The prestigious honor, presented by Ram Trucks, has previously been awarded to Randy Travis (2021), Reba McEntire (2019), Loretta Lynn (2018), Shania Twain (2016), Kenny Rogers (2015) and Merle Haggard (2014).

Lainey Wilson has been named 2022 CMT Breakout Artist of the Year. Wilson is the fifth recipient of the award, following Mickey Guyton (2021), Ashley McBryde (2019), Kelsea Ballerini (2016) and Chris Stapleton (2015).

The 90-minute concert featured performances from Jackson, Pearce, Johnson, Brown and Wilson. Hayes teamed up with Ciara for a never-before-seen performance of their “Y’all Life” remix. Riley Green also took the stage to pay tribute to Luke Combs.

A heartwarming tribute to the late Loretta Lynn, who died earlier this month aged 90, also took place at the star-studded event when her sisters, Crystal Gayle and Peggy Sue Wright, performed in her honor .

Along with a star-studded list of performances, the show also included presenters: Chris Stapleton, Dan + Shay, Dustin Lynch, Rascal Flatts frontman Gary LeVox, Kelsea Ballerini, Yellowstone’s Kelsey Asbille and Shane McAnally.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. appeared remotely from his annual Dale Jr. Foundation charity event in North Carolina to present Combs with his 2022 CMT Artists Of The Year award.

The 2022 CMT Artists of the Year premiered Friday, October 14 at 9/8c on CMT.

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