Entertainment, On A High Note

Up & Coming Artist Spotlight: Sam Hunt

This week, “Sports and Entertainment Nashville” shines the spotlight on breakout country music artist, Sam Hunt.

Up and coming country star Sam Hunt was an avid football player in college. PHOTO COURTESY SAM HUNT

Up and coming country star Sam Hunt was an avid football player in college. PHOTO COURTESY SAM HUNT

Born in the deep south of Cedartown, Georgia he once pursued a career in football. He even had a little NFL interest. He had played football for both Middle Tennessee State University and for the University of Alabama at Birmingham as a starting quarterback, but it turned out that football wasn’t his calling. So at some point during his days at Alabama, Hunt decided to pick up the guitar. Having always been a fan of country music he thought he’d try his hand at writing a song or two, which has worked out very well for him. After moving to Nashville and gaining some success as a songwriter, he decided to try his hand as a country music performer. His songwriting successes had opened doors for him and he eventually signed a record deal with MCA Nashville. His debut album “Montevallo” was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and produced three singles that topped the US Hot Country Songs chart.

The album “Montevallo,” which was named after a town in Alabama close to where Hunt went to college, is doing well on the country music charts and has helped him win an Academy of Country Music Award, CMT Music Award and even a Grammy Award. It is uncommon for an album these days to stay at the top of the charts, but Hunt seems to have broken that trend by topping the charts and staying there. ” Montevallo” debuted on Billboard’s Top 200 at No. 3 and at No. 1 on the Top Country Album charts. And at the end of 2015, his album still held the No. 1 spot on the Top Country Albums chart!

His influences range vastly from R&B to pop, country and hip-hop. Though his album has classic country themes, the album is far from traditional country and might even have a lot of non-country elements, but it is working for him. “Montevallo” has connected with country fans abroad and is still connecting worldwide, allowing him to bring a wide range of new fans to the country music industry.

Sam Hunt's album "Montevallo" debuted at No. 1 on the Top Country Album charts. PHOTO COURTESY SAM HUNT

Sam Hunt’s album “Montevallo” debuted at No. 1 on the Top Country Album charts. PHOTO COURTESY SAM HUNT

Hunt’s songwriting career was his launching pad and even his early success included him achieving cuts by several legendary hit makers like Reba McEntire who recorded “Love Somebody.” Other notable cuts have also helped Hunt move forward with a greater velocity in his career than many have had the luxury of experiencing. The No. 1 hit by Kenny Chesney called  “Come Over,” and Billy Currington’s top 10 hit “We Are Tonight,” which ended up being the title of the album as well, were both extremely popular – and obviously so. And Hunt’s co-penned song “Cop Car” ended up on Keith Urban’s 2013 album, “Fuse,” opening him up to an entirely new audience. Proving that songwriting can be a key to success in more than just getting cuts, it has launched the careers of many current country music stars – and Sam Hunt is no exception.

The country music industry got the first draft pick and the rest is history as they say. He is currently on tour playing far and wide from Los Angeles to London or Mexico to Amsterdam spreading his music across the world and looking to leave his mark his own way. If you would like to purchase some of Sam Hunts music, check out his website and like him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.