American singer Sam Hunt is known for blending country music with other genres such as R&B and pop. What was his first song?
Before having a successful solo career, Sam Hunt wrote several songs for other artists, including Kenny Chesney’s 2012 hit “Come Over.” His first single as a solo artist was “Raised on It” which he released independently in 2013. He released his first single with a record label in 2014—“Leave the Night On.”
Stick around to learn more about the life and career of Sam Hunt.
Sam Hunt and the Football Career that Never Was
Sam Hunt was born on December 8, 1984, in Cedartown, Georgia, USA. His father is an insurance agent and his mother is a teacher. Sam didn’t always want to be a musician. In fact, he made a go of it as a professional football player.
Eldest child Sam Hunt and his siblings:
He was the 2002 Co-Offensive Player of the Year at his high school and on the Georgia Sportswriters Association All-State Class AAA first-team as an all-purpose player.
He continued his career at Middle Tennessee State University from 2003 to 2004 as a quarterback. However, he was rarely on the field, and did not play at all in 2003, and only six games in 2004.
He then transferred to the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2005 and was redshirted (kept out of play to develop his skills) for the first season. He played six games in 2006 but was injured for much of the season. He graduated with a business degree in economics in 2007.
After practice, Sam started to teach himself the guitar. Talking about how he got into music, he said, “I never saw myself as a musician or having any musical talent.”
He continued, “I was just killing time that summer, and a buddy had recently bought a guitar. I picked it up one day and on a whim thought, ‘You know, I think I want to buy a guitar.’”
His roommates in college listened to the songs he had written and were so impressed they told him to book shows at local bars, which is what started his music career.
In 2008, he had a tryout with the NFL Kansas City Chiefs. He remembered the time, saying, “I knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I needed to find out if I could take it all the way.”
As perhaps was destined, Sam didn’t manage to impress the football team. Shortly afterward, to the surprise of his friends and family, he left for Nashville in order to pursue a music career. He took only two mattresses, some food, and his mom’s minivan.
Footballer Turned Singer
Sam co-wrote the song “Come Over,” sung by Kenny Chesney and released in 2012. For his efforts, he received an American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers award.
Impressed by his songwriting skills and talent, Sam secured a recording contract with MCA Nashville in 2014. He released X2C, a four-song EP that year.
The EP achieved significant success for a new artist, debuting at number 36 on the US Billboard 200 and number 5 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.
He released his first single with MCA Nashville the same year—“Leave the Night On,” which reached number 1 on the Country Airplay chart.
Also in 2014, he released his debut studio album—Montevallo. The album debuted at number 1 on the Top Country Albums chart and number 3 on the US Billboard 200.
The single “Take Your Time,” spent 11 weeks at number 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs. Listen and watch the music video for “Take Your Time”:
On the same release day as Montevallo, Sam also released Between the Pines again, made up of acoustic versions of his most popular songs.
Sam embarked on a sold-out tour titled Lipstick Graffiti in 2015, and the same year, he was featured on the cover of Billboard.
Sam released his second album—Southside—in 2020, which debuted at number 5 on the US Billboard 200 and took the top spot on the US Top Country Albums chart.