When country star Walker Hayes first released his song “Fancy Like” in June, he was expecting it to be a modest hit. At the time, he had just one top 10 country single under his belt and four other songs that came and went with minimal impact. But that all changed when a video of Hayes and his daughter dancing to the song on TikTok went viral, giving the tune an unexpected jolt.
That clip has been viewed 31 million times and has spread the reach of the catchy, infectious tune far beyond his typical country listener base. It also helped boost the song to a spot at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and No. 1 on Country Digital Song Sales. It’s even been featured in some adorable Applebee’s commercials.
It’s been a surreal experience for Hayes, who is still adjusting to his newfound fame. “It was the biggest thing to ever happen in my life, and I can’t believe it’s true,” he tells Billboard.
He’s been doing his best to keep up with the demands of this wild ride, including a viral dance challenge with NBC’s Hoda and Jenna. The pair tried their hand at the dance craze while video chatting with Walker and had some amusing mishaps along the way. (Check out the video above.) But despite this sudden success, Hayes isn’t worried about overshadowing his music with the social media fad of the day. He believes there’s a deeper message in his song that is helping to connect with fans.