When Laine Hardy won American Idol in 2019, he won fame and industry prestige, the potential for a handsome check and a few mementos to cherish forever. It's one of those mementos that stunned us during a recent live interview and performance.

Taste of Country Nights hosts Evan Paul and Amber spent a half hour with Hardy as he played three songs and spoke candidly about life before, during and after American Idol. Among the things he shared: His massive back tattoo and the story of how he led eight Louisiana police officers on a high-speed chase that ended with him in handcuffs.

Watch Hardy tell that story himself at the end of the video above — he doesn't disappoint!

It was the card that declared him American Idol winner that blew our feeble minds, however. That's no cheap cardboard scrap with a winner's name on it. Did you know it was embossed with glitter and sparkles, and that Hardy keeps it nearby at all times?

The 19-year-old spoke with ToC Nights from his family's home and performed his single "Ground I Grew Up On" in addition to "Can't You See" by the Marshall Tucker Band and an original called "Let There Be Country." It was all part of his virtual tour of media outlets nationwide.

Since winning American Idol, Hardy has been hard at work on new music with producer Michael Knox. Prior to the coronavirus quarantine, he split time between Nashville and Louisiana, working with top-tier songwriters to learn the craft and create new music that's true to his influences. Previously he said that brought a lot of anxiety, but he's been welcomed with open arms by the Music City community.

Expect more live shows and some more new music from Laine Hardy in 2020, although it's not clear if he'll be able to release a full album soon.

American Idol's live episodes resume on Sunday (May 3) at 8PM ET on ABC.

See the Top 20 Finalists on American Idol, Season 18:

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