Walker Hayes and his wife, Laney, have lost their child. The singer shared the heart-breaking news on social media late Wednesday night (June 6).
"It is with great sadness that Laney and I share the news with you that our sweet Oakleigh Klover Hayes was born this morning at the hospital and is now safely in Heaven," shares Hayes. "Thank you for honoring our privacy as we grieve."
The statement goes on to say that Hayes has canceled all of his upcoming appearances to be home with his family. He was scheduled to perform three times on Sunday, June 10 at CMA Fest.
Oakleigh is Hayes' seventh child. The "Craig" singer announced the news last November.
"We're so excited that we're pregnant again," Hayes told Taste of Country. "Just living the dream right now, we're on cloud nine, me and my family. We got good news in the house ... We just love them, they're amazing. We're doing it and we love it and we love all of them."
Hayes moved to Nashville from Alabama to be a singer-songwriter, promptly getting a record deal with Capitol Records. But when the deal fell through, Hayes struggled to make ends meet and provide for his family, ultimately getting a job at Costco just to pay the bills. Although it was a difficult season for the family, in hindsight Hayes says it was the best thing that happened to them.
"It tested us to see how bad we wanted it," Hayes tells PopCulture.com "It tested our marriage, our faith. It sharpened us, I guess you could say. We just look at the world totally different, I guess, after our experience in Nashville. We have gone from content, financially OK, to scary, and financially not OK. We've learned to appreciate so little, which is great. Also, it's changed my why I wake up every day. I wake up to be a better father, a better husband first and foremost. And be honest in my music."
Laney shoulders much of the parenting responsiblity alone when her husband, who opened for Kelsea Ballerini in the first part of the year, is on the road, but he says she wouldn't have it any other way.
"We struggled financially for a really, really long time," shares Hayes. "This doesn't mean, 'Oh, my husband gets to go chase this crazy dream.' This is, 'My husband can provide for us.' She's excited about that, but also seeing that dream come to fruition. It's her dream too. We did it together. It's not like I said, 'Hey, can I drag you along here?' She would say, she was gung ho. 'Let's go to Nashville. You can do this. I want to be a part of that. Let's do this together.'
Hayes was scheduled to play fairs and festivals throughout the summer. No word on when Hayes will return to the stage.
Photo Credit: Instagram/walkerhayes