Walker Hayes and his wife are mourning the loss of their seventh child. The country singer and his wife, Laney Beville, lost their baby, Oakleigh Klover Hayes, a few days before she was due to be born. In statements released on both Twitter and Instagram, Hayes said, “It is with great sadness that Laney and I share with you the news that our sweet Oakleigh Klover Hayes was born this morning at the hospital and now is safely in heaven. Thank you for honoring our privacy as we grieve. Walker has canceled his immediate upcoming appearances to be home with Beville and their children. We ask that everyone respectfully give them their privacy in this difficult time.”
Hayes and Beville had six children together, three daughters and three sons, ranging in ages from 2 to 11. The family lives in Franklin, Tennessee.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Hayes Previously Said in an Interview That the Family Were Planning a Home Birth
In a May 2018 interview with Taste of Country, Hayes said that his wife was expecting their seventh child on June 8. The article notes that Beville had never made it within two weeks of her due date. Hayes said, “We’ve almost had a couple in the car, and I’m not the guy you want to have a kid in the car with. I’m pretty chill, but once birth starts I go the opposite of chill.” Hayes went on to say that he thought his wife would give birth before Memorial Day. Hayes also said that they were planning a home birth.
2. In the Song, ‘Beautiful,’ Hayes Sang About His On/Off Relationship With His Wife
Hayes told the Washington Post in September 2017 that the song “Beautiful,” on his new album is about his on-again, off-again relationship with his wife before the couple decided to settle down. On the same album, his song, “Beckett,” is, according to the Post, celebrates “the innocence of their children.” In the same piece, Hayes refers to his wife as someone “who never told him to give up the music dream” and as having “kids who didn’t care that he drove a beat-up Honda.”
Hayes asked about the personal nature of some of his songwriting, the singer told NPR, “When I write a song that is so personal, I take it to her. … Because it’s also about her and I want to have respect for her. ike, “Did I say anything here that made you mad? Do you mind if I give people this picture of our life?” She is a fan of that, because she wants people to know what you can survive.”
3. Hayes Said in a 2017 Interview That He and His Wife ‘Do a Lot of Celebrating’
Hayes moved to the Nashville-area in 2005 with his wife in the hopes of forging a career in music. In a 2017 interview with People Magazine, Hayes said, “Our life is so drastically filled with hope and actual things happening and no longer just ‘I believe in you,’ or ‘just hang in there’ or ‘maybe next year.'” Hayes went on, “We do a lot of celebrating. What can I say?” Hayes told People that his kids “being proud” of him “means so much to me, and I can tell that they are.”
4. Hayes Said that When He Lost His First Record Deal, He Could Only Depend on His Wife & Kids
When Hayes moved to Nashville in 2005, he got a record deal with Mercury Records and was dropped shortly after. Hayes described the time in an interview with All Access saying that he was abandoned by his friends in the industry and that he could only depend on his wife and children. Hayes said, “When I lost my first record deal, my wife and kids and I lost – I wouldn’t say friends, but – we lost a lot of people around us. They just vanished! They were nowhere to be found.”
5. Hayes Said Previously That He Wanted 8 Children
In a January 2018 interview with Whiskey Riff, Hayes said that he didn’t like odd numbers and as he was awaiting baby number seven, he wanted eight children. Hayes told the website, “I do, just because I don’t like odd numbers. So I feel like maybe 8 is the magic one. But that’s a conversation I need to have with my wife, I don’t know if she wants more. That’s kind of what got us into this predicament, we never really had the “hey are we done at 6?” conversation, so maybe we need to have that one a little earlier this time. But yeah we’re super thrilled, it’s never old, the ultrasound process, the “what did your kid grow today?” thing, we love that stuff. And we don’t take it for granted, we’re just fortunate that our kids are healthy, and looking forward to meeting this new one.”
Hayes told People in a separate interview in July 2017 that he and his wife planned to have four children but “just kept going.” He said of his wife in the same article, “You’re crazier than anybody because you married me, and you’re still around for all this.”