Hardy didn't hold anything back when he took the stage during the 2023 ACM Honors broadcast on Fox on Monday night (Sept. 18), delivering an emotional speech about what his journey to Nashville success means to him.

The country-rock singer-songwriter was on hand at the Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville during the live ceremony on Aug. 23 to receive the award for ACM Artist/Songwriter of the Year, and he thanked all of those who have helped him go from hit songwriter to award-winning artist.

The show aired on Fox on Sept. 18.

Bailey Zimmerman was also present at the awards to pay musical tribute to Hardy, singing an acoustic version of "Signed, Sober You" for the industry-only crowd.

Hardy thanked his label and his team during his speech, reflecting on his first publishing deal nearly a decade ago and his record deal not long after. "I'm so thankful," he said, noting how perfect the name of the award is because of his love of both writing and singing. "I love singing songs ... this is a huge honor.

It was night of big wins. Chris Stapleton took home the ACM Triple Crown Award at the event, while Kane Brown was on hand to receive the ACM International Award. Mary Chapin Carpenter and Clint Black also received the Poet's Award, and K.T. Oslin earned it posthumously. Charlie Daniels received a posthumous ACM Spirit Award at the ceremony, which aired on Fox on Monday night.

Lee BriceTrisha YearwoodBilly Ray Cyrus, Lady ABrett YoungBrandy Clark and the War and Treaty were among the other artists who gave tribute performances to recognize the evening's winners.

Carly Pearce hosted the 2023 ACM Honors, which will be available to stream via Hulu beginning Tuesday (Sept. 19).

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