ACM Awards: Morgan Wallen Wins Album of the Year One Year After Controversy

ET spoke to Wallen's best friend, HARDY, about the big win Monday night, after Wallen had been previously banned from the show in 2021.

Morgan Wallen won big at the Academy of Country Music Awards Monday night. The 28-year-old singer took home the Album of the Year Award for Dangerous: The Double Album, one year after his major controversy.

Wallen, who was nominated for four ACM awards Monday, was banned from the academy's 2021 show after he was caught on camera last February, using a racial slur. Wallen has since apologized

Soon after the video of the incident was made public, Wallen was suspended indefinitely from his label, Big Loud Records, and dropped from WME, according to multiple reports. Radio stations, including those owned by iHeartMedia, Entercom and Cumulus Media, removed Wallen's music from their playlists.

Wallen shared his gratitude for being given the honor in his acceptance speech, thanking the songwriters, producers and musicians that played on the album, as well as his family and his fans for showing him "grace along the way" as he worked to overcome the controversy.

"I'd also like to thank my good lord and savior Jesus Christ, my family, my friends, my team in Nashville, country radio and everyone who has shown me grace along the way," Wallen said. "Most importantly, I have to address my fans personally and directly: thank you, thank you, thank you!"

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for ACM

After Monday's show, ET's Cassie DiLaura spoke to another big winner and Wallen's best friend, HARDY, who took home the Songwriter of the Year Award. The 31-year-old songwriter shared what it meant for him to see Wallen take home the monumental win.

"Me and my fiancé cried I think, more over that award than this one," HARDY said of Wallen's big win. "It means a lot for him. We all know what happened. It means a lot. He works very hard. He deserves that award."

"For those that don't know, your peers, our coworkers vote for who should win this award," he continued. "To know that the entire country music industry voted for him to win that, means that people have his back again. And that's very important. Everybody deserves a second chance, 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 am very proud of him."

The 57th Academy of Country Music Awards streamed live on Prime Video March 7 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Check out the full winners list here!