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Sam Hunt: Georgia Football Star Turned Country-Hip Hop Trailblazer

Full Name Sam Lowry Hunt
Age 38 years old
Birthday December 8, 1984
Birthplace Cedartown, Georgia
Height 6‘3"
Relationship Status Married to Hannah Lee Fowler
Net Worth $3 million
Social Media Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube

Sam Hunt is an American country music singer and songwriter from Cedartown, Georgia who rose to fame after signing with MCA Nashville in 2014. He first attempted to pursue a professional football career after playing in college, but ultimately chose to focus on his music. Let‘s take a closer look at the fascinating story of how this small-town jock became one of Nashville‘s most unique new voices.

From the Gridiron to Guitar Strings

Hunt was born and raised in rural Cedartown, Georgia, a tiny town of just over 10,000 people northwest of Atlanta. Athletics were a big part of life for Hunt, who went on to play football at the University of Alabama-Birmingham on a scholarship from 2002-2006.

After graduating with a business degree, Hunt briefly lived the dream of playing professional football. He had stints with the Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Lions, and even the CFL‘s Winnipeg Blue Bombers before injuries sidelined his sports aspirations for good in 2008.

During his college football days, Hunt had been quietly teaching himself to play guitar and write songs, dreaming of making it big in Nashville as a country singer. So after hanging up his cleats, he took the plunge and relocated to Music City to pursue songwriting full-time.

The Long Road to Overnight Success

The early years in Nashville were an uphill climb. Hunt slept on friends‘ couches, took odd jobs, and tirelessly played writer‘s nights while learning the craft and making connections.

He considers songwriters like Anthony Smith early mentors. Big breakthroughs finally came around 2010-2012, when songs Hunt wrote for stars like Kenny Chesney ("Come Over"), Keith Urban ("Cop Car"), and Billy Currington ("We Are Tonight") became big radio hits.

In 2013, Hunt landed a major publishing deal with Sony/ATV and Universal Music Group Nashville. The pieces started coming together quickly from there. In 2014 he signed a record deal with MCA Nashville and released his smash single "Leave the Night On."

Unique Sound Captivates Country Fans

Hunt‘s 2014 debut album, Montevallo, introduced a fresh new sound to country radio. Tracks like "Take Your Time" seamlessly blended pop hooks and R&B grooves with country storytelling and instrumentation. Lyrically, Hunt says the album was inspired by his first loves and heartbreaks as a young man.

Critics praised Hunt‘s genre-bending style, while fans responded enthusiastically to something so different. Songs like "House Party" showcased Hunt‘s smooth vocals and ear for slick, sexy production. Montevallo topped the Billboard Country charts, went platinum, and earned him Best New Artist at the 2014 CMA Awards.

Hitting New Highs With "Body Like A Back Road"

Hunt‘s hot streak continued with the 2017 release of his second album, Body Like A Back Road. Its lead single of the same name broke records by spending a whopping 34 weeks at #1 on the country charts. The cheeky ode to his wife‘s perfect figure helped cement Hunt‘s popularity with younger audiences.

Follow up hits like "Drinkin‘ Too Much" and "Downtown‘s Dead" lit up both country radio and streaming playlists. Hunt undertook his first major headlining tour in 2017 to support Body Like A Back Road, playing to huge crowds around the US.

Bringing the Party on Tour

Known for his high-energy shows and party anthems, Hunt has toured with superstars like Brad Paisley and Kenny Chesney over the years. He‘s also undertaken successful headlining tours like the inaugural The Nashional in 2020.

Concert highlights include surprise appearances from celebrity guests like Justin Timberlake, and non-stop singalongs to Hunt‘s chart-topping hits. Fans especially go crazy when he mashes up tracks like "Body Like A Back Road" with older country or hip-hop tunes for unique medleys.

Upcoming in 2023, Hunt is embarking on The Back Road Tour with support from singer Travis Denning. He plans to be on the road performing live all year in amphitheaters across America.

Awards and Accolades

Hunt‘s widespread popularity and genre-bending style have earned him recognition across formats. He‘s won CMA and ACM awards for Breakthrough Artist, not to mention 4 Billboard Music Awards, 2 American Music Awards, and an iHeartRadio Music Award.

He made history as just the third country artist nominated for the Best New Artist Grammy (alongside Glen Campbell and Bobby Bare). Hunt has also been named one of Forbes‘ prestigious 30 Under 30 honorees for his innovation.

Musical Style and Influences

  • Early country heroes like Hank Williams Jr., Merle Haggard, Alabama
  • 90s R&B stars such as Boyz II Men, Ginuwine, R.Kelly
  • Hip-hop icons like OutKast, Jay-Z, Nelly
  • Southern rockers like Lynyrd Skynyrd

By fusing elements of these varied genres, Hunt has created his own fresh contemporary sound that still pays homage to traditional country, while appealing to modern pop audiences.

Giving Back

As his fame has grown, Hunt has made philanthropy a priority. He‘s an active supporter of organizations like the T.J. Martell Foundation for cancer research, the boot campaign for veterans, and MusiCares for musicians in need.

Hunt is also passionate about hurricane relief efforts, having grown up witnessing the devastation of storms in the South. He frequently organizes and performs at benefit concerts like 2021‘s Country On The Coast show for Louisiana hurricane victims.

Personal Life

Despite the party vibe of singles like "Drinkin‘ Too Much," Hunt‘s personal life is quite low-key. He married longtime girlfriend Hannah Lee Fowler, a nurse from Alabama, in 2017. The wedding featured his own touching songs written for the occasion.

After briefly splitting in 2019 when Fowler filed for divorce, the couple reconciled and appear to be going strong. When not on the road touring, home is a simple farmhouse outside Nashville where Hunt enjoys quiet time away from the spotlight.

From small-town football fields to the big Nashville stage, Sam Hunt‘s tale has been one of passion, persistence, and incredible talent. By seamlessly fusing country, hip-hop and pop, Hunt has become one of the most intriguing and unpredictable artists in the genre. He continues pushing boundaries with each new release while staying true to his musical roots.