In recent years, country music has seen a massive wave of rock influences pumped into the mainstream, and one of the artists blazing that trail is HARDY.
Releasing his first batch of music in 2019 with his This Ole Boy EP, HARDY originally came to Nashville to pursue a songwriting career. After achieving some pretty impressive successes in that area, he began to wade into the artist waters and has been a force to be reckoned with ever since.
With only two full-length albums to his name – 2020's critically acclaimed A Rock and 2023's blockbuster the mockingbird & THE CROW – as well as his celebrated Hixtape projects, he's already racked up a slew of awards and accolades, two No. 1 singles ('One Beer' ft. Lauren Alaina & Devin Dawson, 'wait in the truck' ft. Lainey Wilson), over a dozen RIAA certifications, a few billion streams and a packed touring schedule.
Known for his golden lyrical pen, which has written a long list of songs for other country artists over the years, HARDY has been bending and blending genres for over half a decade, essentially writing his own rulebook for success in country music and beyond.
As one of the genre's current frontrunners, and also one of the voices leading the charge in pushing its barriers, HARDY has already proved his rockstar pedigree.
To help bring a little clarity, background and context to our country-rock trailblazer, we've compiled answers to some of the most widely asked questions about HARDY.
Michael Hardy, known professionally as HARDY, was born on September 13, 1990. That puts our virgo rockstar at 33 years old.
HARDY was born in Philadelphia, Mississippi, which he cleverly referenced in his autobiographical song 'the mockingbird & THE CROW'. In it, he sings "I grew up in a little town named after another" in reference to the better known Philadelphia being in Pennsylvania.
Growing up, HARDY listened to music with his father, sparking his love for music. He wrote his first song in high school, then went on to attend Middle Tennessee State University where he got a degree in songwriting through the Recording Industry Management program.
HARDY clocks in at about 5 feet 8 inches tall.
The average for men in the U.S. is roughly 5' 9" so he comes up just a bit short, but in every other area of his artistry, HARDY is well above average.
HARDY and his wife, Caleigh Ryan, tied the knot on October 29, 2022 at Diamond Creek Farms in Nashville.
Our 'wait in the truck' hitmaker originally slid into Ryan's DMs in April of 2018. After chatting about their shared connection to Mississippi (Ryan was attending the University of Mississippi and HARDY is from there), the award-winning entertainer had a show at The Lyric Theater in nearby Oxford where they met for the first time.
Three years later, HARDY popped the question at the same theater in August of 2021.
The lovebirds were wed in front of 350 of their closest friends, many of which were HARDY's country music peers, including ERNEST, Dierks Bentley, Lauren Alaina, Devin Dawson, RaeLynn, Brantley Gilbert, Mitchell Tenpenny, Jameson Rodgers, Morgan Wallen and others. Following the ceremony, the newlyweds escaped to Thailand and Vietnam for their honeymoon.
As of right now, HARDY doesn't have any children. However, he has mentioned that as soon as he gets the green light from his wife Caleigh, he's more than ready to start expanding their family.
The question of whether or not our favorite country artists were ever on singing competition shows like American Idol or The Voice has become a pretty popular one in recent years.
However, HARDY has never competed on any of those shows. As aforementioned, he earned a songwriting degree from MTSU. After graduating, he realized that it was possible to make country music into a career and officially moved to Nashville to pursue a career as a songwriting.
HARDY was signed to Big Loud Records as an artist in 2018 and has enjoyed some pretty sweet success in the years since.
As we've covered, HARDY first waded into the music industry with his sights set on being a songwriter. Since being assimilated into Nashville's writing community, he has scored 13 No. 1s at country radio, and he's only sung or been featured on three of them.
Among some of his most notable hits as a songwriter are Blake Shelton's 'Come Back as a Country Boy' and 'God's Country', Cole Swindell's 'Drinkaby' and 'Single Saturday Night', Carrie Underwood's 'Hate My Heart', Chris Lane's 'I Don't Know About You', Dylan Scott's 'New Truck', BRELAND's 'Praise the Lord', Jameson Rodgers' 'Some Girls' and plenty of others.
HARDY was a notable collaborator with country duo Florida Georgia Line, and nabbed credits on songs like 'Simple', 'Talk You Out of It' and more.
In more recent years, he has spent a lot of time in writing rooms with his buddy and labelmate Morgan Wallen. Throughout Wallen's discography, you can find HARDY's name on several cuts, including 'Livin' the Dream', 'More Than My Hometown', 'Sand in My Boots', 'Still Goin' Down', 'This Bar' and his breakout tune 'Up Down'.
No, HARDY is not related to any of the aforementioned artists or any other celebrities.
Wilson teamed up with HARDY for their smash 2022 duet, 'wait in the truck', and the pair have been spending the end of the summer and fall on tour together on HARDY's headlining the mockingbird & THE CROW Tour.
As we mentioned earlier, HARDY and Wallen have spent the last several years in writing rooms and on tour buses together. HARDY served as support on the 2023 dates of Wallen's One Night At A Time Tour and the pair have often popped up as features on each others songs.
The short answer to this question is a firm no.
For a longer answer, buckle in.
HARDY released his sophomore album, the mockingbird & THE CROW, in January 2023. Taking shape as a dichotomous, 17-track record split neatly down the middle with eight songs of organic country – the mockingbird – and another eight of staunchly rock – THE CROW. The two styles collide at the record’s midpoint: the biographical title track.
This concept of a half-and-half record was unprecedented in country music upon its release, but if you listen back through HARDY's prior releases, you can see how he landed here.
Since signing his record deal in 2018, HARDY has consistently showcases a sound and style of music that leans towards rock, and that affinity for rock 'n' roll goes back to his youth.
Throughout his career thus far, HARDY has always been walking the line of rock and country, sometimes stepping more into one or the other depending on the song in question. While he does hope to eventually be able to make full-length records in both genres, he's been very clear that he's staying in the country genre for the foreseeable future.
HARDY is spending the last half of 2023 on his headlining the mockingbird & THE CROW Tour with support from Lainey Wilson and Dylan Marlowe.
While exact ticket prices depend on the venue, city and seating selection, along with other performers on the bill, an average ticket costs between $60 and $80.
For more on HARDY, see below: