"Sand in My Boots," the wistful and nostalgic album-opener for Morgan Wallen's Dangerous: The Double Album, sets the tone for the entire 30-song project.

Though it's been less than a month since Wallen put his project out, it's hard to imagine anyone but him singing "Sand in My Boots": However, according to one of the song's co-writers, Hardy, another major country star expressed interest in the track.

"You know what's funny, is Luke Bryan fell in love with it too, and I don't know if you ever knew that," Hardy tells Wallen during a conversation on Wallen's Apple Music Country show, Happy Hour Radio.

Hardy is a familiar name to many country fans in his own right, having scored his first No. 1 hit at country radio with his Devin Dawson and Lauren Alaina collaboration "One Beer." Hardy got his start as a songwriter: He's a close friend and frequent collaborator of Wallen's, and they've been writing together since early on in both of their careers.

Hardy co-wrote a number of the tracks on Dangerous, including the hit single "More Than My Hometown" and Wallen's deeply personal, deeply painful "Living the Dream."

Given the backstory between Hardy and Wallen, it's not so surprising that he didn't ever entertain the idea of pitching "Sand in My Boots" to other artists — not even a superstar like Bryan.

"I don't know how he heard it, but ... we wanted you to have it," Hardy continues, speaking for himself and his "Sand in My Boots" co-writers, Ashley Gorley and Josh Osborne. "We thought that you could make it cool. So, he missed out, dawg."

"Sorry, Luke, if you're listening!" Wallen jokingly interjects. "But I'm not really sorry at all. I think he'll be okay."

Plus, Hardy adds, the song seemed destined for Wallen from the day they finished it. The title was one he'd been toying with for a long time, and he suggested it during the writing session as a good lead-in to a song about "a summer love kind of thing." From there, with help from Osborne and Gorley, the song came together pretty quickly.

"I remember when I finished it, it was your birthday," Hardy relates to Wallen, who was born on May 13. "I wrote it on your birthday. I was like, 'Happy Birthday, here's a hit.'"

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