Hardy won big at the 2022 ACM Awards on Monday night (March 7), taking home the trophy for Songwriter of the Year. But in an interview following the awards ceremony, the singer-songwriter and recording artist admitted he reacted more emotionally when his friend Morgan Wallen won the ACM Award for Album of the Year.

"Me and my fiancee cried, I think, more over that award than this one," Hardy tells Entertainment Tonight while holding his own ACM trophy after the show. "It means a lot for him. It means a lot."

Wallen won the Album of the Year award for his Dangerous: The Double Album, which was the best-selling country album of 2021. The album's commercial success took place amid the backlash from Wallen being caught on camera using a racist slur in early 2021.

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The win marked the first time Wallen has taken the ACM Awards stage since he was disqualified and barred from appearing at the 2021 ACMs, and after the usual thanks to his team and fans, Wallen offered special thanks to "everyone who has shown me grace along the way."

Hardy contributed songs to Wallen's album, which beat out Carly Pearce's 29: Written in StoneThomas Rhett's Country Again: Side AChris Young's Famous Friends and Jack IngramMiranda Lambert and Jon Randall's collaborative acoustic album The Marfa Tapes.

"He works very hard. He deserves that award," Hardy tells ET. "For those that don't know, your peers, our co-workers vote for who should win this award. To know that the entire country music industry voted for him to win that ..."

"Everybody deserves a second chance," Hardy adds emotionally. "Deserves a chance to fight for themselves, and that's exactly what's happened. So this was bigger than that award for him. It meant a lot, and I'm very proud of him."

The 2022 ACM Awards were held at Las Vegas' Allegiant Stadium and streamed live exclusively on Amazon Prime Video. This year's event marked the first time that the ceremony aired over a streaming platform instead of a major broadcast network. Dolly Parton hosted the show with the 2021 New Male and Female Artists of the Year, Jimmie Allen and Gabby Barrett.

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