HARDY Makes Triumphant Return To Stage, Shares Update On Anxiety Battle: “It’s Real…And It’s Terrifying”

The country singer thanked his fans for the outpouring support he’s been receiving.


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

October 13, 2023


1:54 pm

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HARDY; Photo Courtesy of Instagram

HARDY made his triumphant return to the stage on Thursday evening (Oct. 12) at the First National Bank Arena in Jonesboro, Arkansas, following the sudden cancellation of several concerts on the mockingbird & THE CROW Tour due to crippling anxiety that led to his hospitalization.

In the midst of his performance, the chart-topping singer/songwriter stopped the show to open up to his fans about the reasons behind his recent show cancellations.

In a very vulnerable and emotional moment, HARDY shared an update on his condition and admitted that it was very difficult for him to cancel shows to focus on his health.

“I’m going to try to get through this next thing without crying, holy shit. First and foremost, I want to let everybody know that I’m okay. I’m dealing with some stuff right now and I really hate that I had to do what I had to do last week and cancel shows, but it’s something that I had to do for myself and if you know me, you know how hard that was for me too ‘cause I like to work,” he explained as he became overcome with emotions.

Fans Show Their Support For HARDY

The sold-out crowd quickly showcased their support for the “Wait In The Truck” singer as they cheered him on, acknowledging the courage it took for him to publicly share his struggles. HARDY went on to express his gratitude for the outpouring of support he had received. 

He continued, “I’ve experienced more love and positive words, positive vibes, prayers, thoughts from y’all in the past two weeks than I have ever experienced in my life and with something like anxiety and depression people are embarrassed about it and I don’t know why because it’s real and it sucks and it’s terrifying and if anybody in this room has ever truly been through that, I know for a fact that you would agree with me because it’s a very real thing.”

HARDY: Photo by Katherine Bomboy/NBC
HARDY: Photo by Katherine Bomboy/NBC

Experiencing Anxiety On And Off The Stage

The genre-bending hitmaker also shared his ongoing experience with anxiety, both on and off the stage, and how his nerves played a part in his return to performing.

“I want you guys to know that I’m okay and I’m going to be okay and I’ve been experiencing a lot of anxiety on stage, off the stage… I’m actually having a great time tonight by the way,” HARDY added. ”I’m not going to lie I was really nervous before I walked on the stage and it might hit me some before the show is over but as soon as I got on this stage, something in my brain said this is what you’re meant to do and you’re meant to be here tonight and just relax and put on a show.”

As he continued on with his performance, the audience cheered even louder, celebrating HARDY’s return to the stage. 

His return to the stage comes 9 days after he was forced to cancel several shows and shared a candid update with his fans, explaining what he’s been going through behind the scenes. 

“I need to be honest with everyone for a second,” the award-winning singer/songwriter wrote at the time. “I’ve been dealing with some serious anxiety since the bus accident last year and over the last two weeks, it has taken control of my life. It’s caused me to suffer many panic attacks which have landed me in the hospital.” 

Tour Bus Accident

At the time, he revealed that he was going to use this time off the road to center himself and focus on what’s important. “I need a moment to focus on me and to make myself better for my wife, family, and you, the fans,” HARDY continued to explain.

The tour bus accident that HARDY referred to in his post took place on October 2, 2022.  According to a Tennessee Highway Patrol Officer, the accident occurred when his tour bus overturned on Interstate 40 West near the Wilson-Davidson county line, just outside of Nashville, Tenn. HARDY and his team were returning to Nashville from a show in Bristol, Tenn.  

He detailed the incident in a social media post hours later. 

“Following last night’s show, our tour bus was in an accident on our way home from Bristol. There were just four of us, including myself, on the bus, however, we were all treated for significant injuries. Our friend and bus driver needs your prayers as he is still in the hospital. His family is with him while he is being treated and we’re all pulling and praying for him,” HARDY previously shared.

His bus driver, Ricky, was later released from the hospital to recover at home.

The Mockingbird & The Crow Fall Tour

HARDY is in the midst of his headlining the mockingbird & THE CROW Fall Tour, which kicked off with sold-out nights in Knoxville, Tenn. and Tuscaloosa, Ala. The trek, which features Lainey Wilson as a special guest, is set to run through December 9.

The tour comes in support of his latest album, the mockingbird & THE CROW, which arrived on January 20, 2023 via Big Loud Records.  The project features 17 songs, including three collaborations: “Wait in the Truck” with Wilson, “Red” with Morgan Wallen and “Radio Song” with A Day To Remember frontman Jeremy McKinnon. 

HARDY; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
HARDY; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Additionally, HARDY is currently one of the most-nominated artists at the upcoming 57th Annual CMA Awards, taking place LIVE from Bridgestone Arena in Music City on Wednesday, November 8 at 8/7c. 

He is up for 4 nods, including Single Of The Year (“Wait In The Truck”), Song Of The Year (“Wait In The Truck”), Musical Event Of The Year (“Wait In The Truck”) and Music Video Of The Year (“Wait In The Truck”).

For a full list of HARDY’s upcoming tour dates visit his official website HERE.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.