Morgan Wallen, HARDY, and ERNEST are all successful solo artists in their own right. But aside from that, the three of them share an undeniable bond that makes seeing their careers unfold simultaneously even more exciting to watch.
With such a solid friendship between the three buddies, one might wonder why the artists and Big Loud labelmates haven’t come together to form a super trio. Well, it turns out that they have thought about the potential of releasing an album that combines their talents similar to collaborative projects like The Highwayman, Honky Tonk Angels, and Pistol Annies’ Hell on Heels, to name a few.
“I Think It Would Be Awesome”
“We’ve definitely talked about it,” HARDY confirmed during an interview with Billboard. “I think it would be awesome [and] I think it would do really well and would set up a tour perfectly… don’t think anybody in our little trio would be opposed to that. It would be fun.”
A combined effort would certainly be interesting to fans of HARDY, ERNEST, and Wallen since they all have separate styles. But they have all worked with the same producer, Joey Moi, to form their own unique sound, which can be heard on each of their separate albums.
Longtime Friends And Collaborators
Both HARDY and Wallen released full-length albums in 2023. HARDY’s 17-track collection, the mockingbird & THE CROW, arrived on January 20, showcasing the rock and country sides of the singer/songwriter. Meanwhile, Wallen dropped a 36-track collection called One Thing At A Time, which spent its 12th consecutive week at the top of the Billboard 200 and includes three No. 1 hits thus far – “You Proof,” “Thought You Should Know,” and “Last Night.” ERNEST also dropped a collection of music this year – the deluxe edition of his 2022 Flower Shops (The Album), Flower Shops: Two Dozen Roses.
“I think about how many country music acts Joey Moi has helped craft into a sound and how different all of those sounds are,” ERNEST shared. “My sound is a little more traditional, like [an] Opry band. HARDY’s got the rock stuff, and Morgan’s down to go the 808s route. But Joey is able to make it sound really f–king good every time.”
Contributed To Each Other’s Solo Projects
Even though Wallen, HARDY, and ERNEST are separate acts and well-deserved recipients of the CMA Triple Play Award, they’ve successfully collaborated with each other, having contributed to each other’s solo projects. Wallen has a feature on “Red” from HARDY’s the mockingbird & the Crow, while HARDY and ERNEST have songwriting credits on Wallen’s One Thing At A Time. HARDY co-wrote three songs on the project and also has a feature on “In the Bible,” while ERNEST co-wrote 11 tracks on the album and has a feature on “Cowgirls.” Wallen also teamed with ERNEST for the slow country ballad “Flower Shops,” which appears on ERNEST’s Flower Shops (The Album). The three have also collaborated on past projects, dating back to Wallen’s 2018 If I Know Me album.
“Everybody just truly does such different things, and we all bring out the creativity in each other,” HARDY shares. “Ernest might say something that would sound like something I would never think of, and that would spark a lyrical direction maybe they wouldn’t think of. We do what we do and bring out the best in the rest of the triangle.”
Best Friends Outside Of Working Together
But even when they aren’t working together on the music front, HARDY, ERNEST, and Wallen are friends outside of the business.
“If any of us are going through anything on a personal level, any of the other ones would be there for them in a heartbeat in real life — and you’d never even know about it on Instagram,” ERNEST shares. “We are blessed to have these careers with our friends and get to cheer each other on.”
How Did HARDY, ERNEST And Morgan Wallen Meet Each Other?
Wallen, HARDY, and ERNEST, go way back having met each other years ago. ERNEST and Wallen share ties that date back to high school when they were baseball rivals. Wallen attended Knoxville Gibbs High School, while ERNEST was enrolled in David Lipscomb High School in Nashville. At the time, the two didn’t know each other, but would later meet at a party in 2015. As for HARDY and ERNEST, they crossed paths for the first time in 2017, the same time HARDY and Wallen formed a songwriting partnership.
“[Morgan] came to my little apartment in Green Hills [in Nashville], and we just started writing,” HARDY recalled of his first writing meeting with Wallen, which also included Jameson Rodgers. “Then we ate Martin’s BBQ after,” he added.
ERNEST and HARDY are supporting acts on Wallen’s One Night At A Time World Tour, which launched on March 15. However, Wallen has been sidelined from the trek due to a doctor-ordered vocal rest. He will resume time on the road beginning June 22 at Wrigley Field in Chicago.