Hardy, whose given name is Michael Hardy, has risen up the country music ranks quickly within the past two years. Originally from Philadelphia, Mississippi, Hardy began his career as a songwriter after graduating with a degree in songwriting from Middle Tennessee State University outside Nashville. He soon began writing among country stars like Florida Georgia Line, and he co-wrote FGL's smash hit with Morgan Wallen, "Up Down." After the success of that song, Hardy was signed to Big Loud records and began making his own music. He released his Hixtape, Vol. 1 EP in 2019, which features duets with Keith Urban, Thomas Rhett and many more. His full-length debut album, A Rock, was then released in 2020. In September 2021, Hardy announced that Hixtape, Vol. 2 will be released over the coming months.
The singer-songwriter also continues to write songs for other artists. Tracks written by him can be found on recent projects from Florida Georgia Line, Chase Rice, Justin Moore and more. One notable hit written by Hardy is Blake Shelton's "God's Country." Hardy has also racked up his share of awards and nominations within the country music community, and he is nominated for New Artist of the Year at the 2021 CMA Awards, airing November 10 on ABC. As we look back on Hardy's still-young career, here are the six best songs released by the artist, so far.
This song from his A Rock album may not have made it to radio, but based on the 2.2 million (and counting) views of the song's audio on YouTube, it has made an impact on fans. In "Truck," Hardy sings about the importance of the truck to those who live the traditional "country" lifestyle, and how each person's truck shows off the owner's personality. The lyrics and the upbeat, FGL-influenced production make for a catchy country song. Even though "Truck" wasn't released as a single, it charted at No. 50 on the Billboard Hot Country chart.
5. "Unapologetically Country As Hell"
Speaking of country songs, it doesn't get much more country than Hardy's "Unaplogetically Country As Hell." Also an album cut from his A Rock album, this song is what the title implies: a rowdy and unapologetic ode to the redneck lifestyle. The Mississippi-born singer doesn't hold back when describing this kind of life, with lines like "Got buck blood on my Sunday clothes." The lyrics, the laid back country instrumentation and the accompaniment from a crowd of people in the chorus makes the song sound like Hardy's singing it along with friends at a bar.
4. "Beers On Me," Dierks Bentley (feat. Hardy and Breland)
Not only does Hardy often write and record his own collaborations, but he's no stranger to being featured on other artists' tunes as well. In July 2021, Dierks Bentley released "Beers On Me," a collaboration including Hardy and up-and-coming artist, Breland. In the tune, the three men combine their unique voices to sing an old-fashioned beer-drinking song about letting loose on a weekend night. Hardy doesn't just sing on the tune, but he also co-wrote the track with Bentley, Ashley Gorley, Luke Dick and Ross Copperman. Currently, "Beers On Me" is riding country music radio waves.
Hardy praised the redneck lifestyle he knows so well yet again in 2019's "Rednecker," his official debut single. In this raucous tune, Hardy challenges his fellow country boys, declaring that he's "rednecker" than any of them. To prove this, he lists his redneck cred throughout the song, singing, "My town's smaller than your town / And I got a bigger buck and bass on my wall / I got a little more kick in my drawl / Y'all I got little more spit in my chaw." The song's official music video further makes Hardy's point, as he's seen participating in various country leisure activities such as mudding and mattress surfing. Some fans surmise the song is poking fun at the alleged "one-upsmanship" in country music, but either way, "Rednecker" makes for a fun country song.
2. "One Beer" (feat. Lauren Alaina and Devin Dawson)
Hardy has written many hits for other artists, and he earned his first-ever No. 1 as an artist with "One Beer," a collaboration with Lauren Alaina and Devin Dawson released in 2020. In this song, Hardy, Alaina and Dawson tell the heartwarming story of a teenage couple who unexpectedly find out they are having a baby. While the young woman and man are first shocked at the news, they grow into a beautiful family with their child. The hook of the song is that their relationship, and in turn their family, came out of "one beer" together. The song's music video showcases the story of the song, adding a dramatic twist. "One Beer" landed at No. 1 on Billboard Country charts in the US and Canada, as well as other charts around the world.
1. "Give Heaven Some Hell"
Hardy brings up a more heavy topic in his latest single, "Give Heaven Some Hell," released in January 2021. In this rock-influenced tune, Hardy sings from the perspective of a man who has lost a close friend who was part of his group of "noise-makin' boys." In the tune, Hardy sings of attending the funeral and imagines that his friend is still living his wild ways up in heaven, and therefore, giving heaven "some hell." Although the song is upbeat, it is emotional in nature, as the song's character attempts to cope with the idea of his good friend who has passed away. As of October 2021, "Give Heaven Some Hell" is still making its way up the country music charts.