Wade Hayes was born in Bethel Acres, Oklahoma on April 20, 1969. His father, Don Hayes, was also a professional Country Music musician and inspired him to play music. As a second generation Country singer, Wade Hayes grew up watching his dad perform. The young guitarist’s dream was to be the next Don Rich, Buck Owens’ revered guitar player and one of Country Music’s most legendary sidemen. He was in his early 20s when he began churning out such enduring hits as “Old Enough to Know Better,” “I’m Still Dancing with You,” “On a Good Night” and “What I Meant to Say.”
Hayes began realizing that goal when Johnny Lee tapped the young musician to be his lead guitarist, but he just wasn’t meant to be a sideman. His debut single, “Old Enough to Know Better,” hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart and was nominated for the ACM’s Top New Male Vocalist honor. Two of Hayes’ four major label albums have been certified gold by the RIAA, and hits such as “Don’t Stop,” “The Day That She Left Tulsa (In a Chevy)” and “How Do You Sleep at Night” continue to be fan favorites in his shows.
Wade Hayes on Country’s Family Reunion: Tribute to Ray Price via Country Road TV Screen Grab
In 2009, he released the critically acclaimed independent album, A Place to Turn Around, and continued to tour extensively until his world came to a screeching halt when he was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in the fall of 2011. It was a surprise to everyone, even the doctors. Because Hayes was so young, doctors initially thought the symptoms were the result of him working out too strenuously and lifting too much weight. After extensive surgery and debilitating chemotherapy, Hayes battled his way back to health only to have the cancer return in the fall of 2012. But he was blessed with healing from his cancer battle and admits that he became extremely grateful to have gone from stage IV to cancer free.
In addition to writing and recording, Hayes has been back on the road. He also enjoys spending time at his 11-acre farm outside Nashville where one of his favorite hobbies is restoring old pickup trucks. He makes time to share his experience with cancer and encourage others fighting the battle.
Watch this video of Wade Hayes performing “Heartaches by the Number” from Country’s Family Reunion: A Tribute to Ray Price. Find FULL EPISODES at www.countryroadtv.com!