5 Songs You Didn’t Know HARDY Wrote for Other Artists

Michael Wilson Hardy, also known as HARDY, quickly became one of the most sought-after songwriters in Nashville from the moment he moved there from his small town of Philadelphia, Mississippi in the early 2010s.

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Starting out as a songwriting partner with Florida Georgia Line and his friend Morgan Wallen, HARDY also continued penning songs for Dierks Bentley (“Beers On Me”), Cole Swindell (“Single Saturday Night”), Dylan Scott (“New Truck”), Chris Lane (“I Don’t Know About You”), along with a number of songs for Blake Shelton, among other artists over just a few years.

[RELATED: HARDY & Lainey Wilson Duet on the Avenging “wait in the truck”]

After getting signed himself, HARDY has released a few hits of his own, from his debut single “Rednecker” in 2018 to “One Beer,” featuring Lauren Alaina and Devin Dawson, off his 2020 debut album, A Rock.

In 2022, HARDY was still hitting hard with his Lainey Wilson collaboration “Wait In The Truck,” from his second album, The Mockingbird & the Crow. That same year, he picked up several honors for his songwriting, including the ACM Songwriter of the Year, the BMI Songwriter of the Year Award, and the AIMP Songwriter of the Year Award.

Here’s a look at five songs HARDY has written for other artists along the way.

1. “Simple,” Florida Georgia Line (2018)
Written by HARDY, Tyler Hubbard, and Brian Kelley

HARDY first met Florida Georgia Line at a party in 2012 and became quick friends with the Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley, and eventually became one of their writing partners. He ended up co-writing eight songs on the duo’s 2019 album, Can’t Say I Ain’t Country, including “Talk You Out Of It,” and No. 1 “Simple.”

The way your fingers fit in mine
It’s five plus five, not rocket science
This day in time, that’s hard to find
It’s true
The road we’re on ain’t a traffic jam
It’s a Sunday drive on a piece of land
It’s paradise as long as I’m with you

2. “One Big Country Song,” LoCash (2019)
Written by HARDY, Ashley Gorley, and Jesse Frasure 

Produced by Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard, the opening track, “One Big Country Song,” off LoCash‘s fourth album, Brothers, became a hit for the country duo. The uptempo song is a reminder that despite all the differences, everyone is still the same. When the song reached the top of the charts, it also marked songwriter Ashley Gorley’s 50th No. 1 hit.

Turn it up and sing along
We all work ’til the daylight’s gone
We all knock off the edge around five
Fall in love from a kiss on Friday night
And we’ve all had a broken heart
We’ve all closed down a few good bars
Take a look around, y’all, tell me I’m wrong
Ain’t the whole wide world just one big country song?
Just one big country song

3. “Sand In My Boots,” Morgan Wallen (2020)
Written by HARDY, Morgan Wallen, and Ernest and Ryan Vojtesak

Off Morgan Wallen’s second album, Dangerous: The Double Album, HARDY penned a total of seven tracks, including “More Than My Hometown” and the album opener, “Sand In My Boots.” When HARDY initially wrote the latter with Ashley Gorley and Josh Osborne, for Luke Bryan, Wallen grabbed it first and took the song to No. 1 in 2022.

HARDY also co-wrote Wallen’s first No. 1 platinum-certified hit, “Up Down,” released in 2018. On HARDY’s 2022 album, The Mockingbird & the Crow, the roles reversed, and Wallen co-wrote and appears on HARDY’s song “Red.”

She asked me where I was from
I said “Somewhere you never been to”
Little town outside of Knoxville
Hidden by some dogwood trees
She tried talkin’ with my accent
We held hands and waded into
That blue water
She left her flip-flops by my Red Wings on the beach

4. “Praise The Lord,” Breland, featuring Thomas Rhett (2022)
Written by HARDY, Thomas Rhett, Julian Bunetta, David Garcia, Jacob Durrett, Jessie Jo Dillon, Kyle Fishman

Along with featured guests, including Thomas Rhett, Keith Urban, Mickey Guyton, Lady A, and Ingrid Andress, newcomer Breland had quite a team of songwriters behind his 2022 debut, Cross Country. Along with TR, HARDY co-wrote the more uptempo gospel-leaning “Praise the Lord.”

“As someone that grew up in church and has a faith background, I think it’s really easy to forget where you came from and to think that you did everything on your own, and I’m not someone that believes that,” said Breland. ” I really feel like a lot of this, if not all of it, has been divinely orchestrated. And so, I’m always praising the Lord for different things that happen, both good and bad, because you learn lessons on both sides. … Hopefully what people take away from this song is that regardless, as I say in the pre-chorus, win or lose, praise the Lord. It’s a song about gratitude, being thankful.”

Praise the Lord for sister Julie, big ol’ hat and tambourine
She keeps playin’ when we’re shoutin’, doesn’t know that she’s off beat
Praise the Lord for my bartender, turns a single into two
We went crazy out there last night, we need savin’ in this pew
It don’t matter how you worship, sinner, saint, win or lose

5. “Come Back As A Country Boy,” Blake Shelton (2022)
Written by HARDY, Jordan Schmidt, and Josh Thompson 

Jordan Schmidt, Josh Thompson, and HARDY penned “Come Back as a Country Boy,” one of four new tracks Shelton added to the extended version of his 2021 album, Body Language. Prior to working with Shelton on the song, HARDY worked with Shelton on his 2019 compilation Fully Loaded: God’s Country.

For the album, HARDY co-wrote the Shelton and Trace Adkins duet of “Hell Right,” along with one of Shelton’s biggest hits, “God’s Country.” The No. 1 song earned Shelton the CMA and ACM for Single of the Year.

When I die, I wanna come back as a country boy
No, there ain’t no better life if you ask me
If my neck don’t come out red, then Lord, just keep me dead
‘Cause a country boy’s all that I know how to be

Photo: Ryan Smith/ Courtesy Big Loud Records

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