A lot of you may not recognize Walker Hayes since he belongs to the lineup of today’s new country artists. Despite being a fresh face in the industry, however, he has been working towards leaving a steady and solid impression as a country singer.
He also gets inspiration from older, more established country singers. In fact, on his debut album, boom., one of Hayes’ songs is titled, Shut Up Kenny. Yes, you read that right—the song is based on a true story and it also reflects how Kenny Chesney served as the backdrop for one of the songs penned by Walker.
So how did he come up with the song and the title?
According to Hayes, he and his wife Laney incorporated the timing of Kenny Chesney’s songs with several of their memories together as a couple. Most of the time, the memories associated are that of their happy and bright days. An example of a Chesney track they have linked to their relationship is Anything But Mine, which reminds the couple of the year they moved to Nashville.
But just like any other couple on the planet, it wasn’t always all smiles and sweet nothings for Hayes and Laney. On one particular occasion, they were right in the middle of a heated dispute and were exchanging arguments. At one point, they were already done talking and yelling that they were enveloped by the crippling silence. It was then that Hayes decided to turn on the radio. Coincidentally enough, Anything But Mine was the song that was playing. It was inappropriate for the situation especially since the song was supposed to bring back happy memories of them together. Hayes adds that he wanted to stay pissed, so he thought, ‘Shut up, Kenny!’ Unfortunately, he couldn’t get Kenny Chesney to shut up because the same song was playing when he switched over to another radio station.
A couple of days following that incident, Walker decided to use it as material for one of his songs. Thus, Shut Up Kenny Chesney was born.
At present, Walker Hayes and Kenny Chesney both work under the same label. But they are yet to cross paths, save for when his producer Shane McAnally sent the track to Chesney for him to give them the go signal to include the song in Hayes’ debut album. While Hayes expected a frivolous banter of lyrics and songs between him and Chesney, he is ultimately thankful that the country rock icon took the song with grace and gave his support.
Listen to the song below: