It seems that Sam Hunt exploded onto the country music scene in 2014 with “Leave the Night On.” While some heads were sent spinning and others were being scratched, he made it clear that he was here to stay and to do things his way.
But did Sam “explode” in the course of one song? In this week’s Rare Country’s 5, host Erin Holt is going to share five fascinating facts that you may or may not have known about country’s hottest rising star. And whether you’re rocking to “Body Like a Back Road” or still scratching your head over Sam’s unique style, it’s fun to see what makes this sweet and handsome talent tick.
For starters, he may sing about a “Body Like a Back Road,” but the reality is that Sam has got a body like a brick wall, and it didn’t just happen overnight. The Georgia boy was a college football player, quarterbacking for Middle Tennessee State before transferring to University of Alabama-Birmingham. He did take a shot at the pros, but when that didn’t pan out, he had a Plan B. Lucky for us!
And Sam wasn’t just a college athlete, he was a scholar as well. Although he ultimately earned an economics degree, the man, who has made bank writing songs about the good, the bad and the fun of love and romance, was a thinker who once majored in philosophy. If he can work “existentialism” into a song, give him a Grammy.
Sam didn’t exactly explode into country music with “Leave the Night On.” His first single, “Raised On It,” didn’t have a steady climb up the charts, but it didn’t much matter. He had already proven himself as a writer by co-writing “Come Over” for Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban’s “Cop Car” and Billy Currington’s “We Are Tonight,” all of which were successful before Sam’s first big run up the charts. We’re pretty glad he persisted and we get to hear him on the radio now.
This little fact is a bit more obvious to traditional country music fans and has been a bone of contention with many, but by tapping into his hip-hop influences, Sam really carved a niche for himself in country music. Mixing his Georgia country boy sensibilities with urban grooves and rhythms has not just become his thing, but it has also challenged the way country fans listen to music.
It isn’t unheard of for country stars to have their songs cross over to mainstream Top 40 charts, but Sam has managed to see every single from his debut album, “Montevallo,” make that major step. He’s also earned a well-deserved ASCAP Songwriter-Artist of the Year medal and nominations for both Grammys and CMAs. For a relatively new artist, these are kudos that veterans still aspire to.
That’s it for another special edition of Rare Country’s 5. Be sure to check out Erin’s video because any story about Sam Hunt works better with that tall, dark and handsome image. And be sure to check back in later this week when we’ll have our regular country music news and lifestyles re-cap in Rare Country’s 5. Thanks for reading!