Sam Lowry Hunt (born December 8, 1984) is an American country singer-songwriter and former college football player. He is known for writing singles for Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, and Billy Currington. In 2014, Hunt signed with MCA Nashville and released his debut album Montevallo, which includes the number 1 Country Airplay hit "Leave the Night On".
Sam Hunt was born on December 8, 1984 at Cedartown, Georgia to Allen and Joan Hunt, an insurance agent and a teacher respectively. He studied at Cedartown High School where he played football, and was selected by the Georgia Sportswriters Association as a first-team All-State Class AAA all-purpose player and was a Wendy's High School Heisman nominee in 2002. After graduating high school at 18, he became interested in music and bought his first guitar to take to college. At college, he was a starting quarterback for two years at Middle Tennessee State University, and a further two years at University of Alabama at Birmingham where he majored in philosophy. After graduating from UAB in 2007, he was invited to training camp with the Kansas City Chiefs. However, his football career failed to take off, and he moved to Nashville to pursue a career in music in 2008.
He co-wrote Kenny Chesney's 2012 single "Come Over", for which he received an award from ASCAP. Hunt also wrote two singles released in 2014: Keith Urban's "Cop Car" and Billy Currington's "We Are Tonight". Hunt independently released the single "Raised On It" in September 2013 and in October of the same year he released via his website a free 15-song mixtape titled "Between the Pines".
In January 2014, it was confirmed that Hunt had signed with MCA Nashville. On August 12, 2014, Hunt released X2C, a four song EP, intended as a preview of his first studio album. The EP debuted on the number 36 on the Billboard 200 and number 5 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart, selling 8,000 copies in its first week.
Hunt's first single for MCA was "Leave the Night On", which went to number 1 on Country Airplay in October 2014 and received a platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for one million certified downloads a month later. In September, he announced that his first full-length studio album, titled Montevallo, would be released on October 27. The album included Hunt's own version of "Cop Car".
On November 5, 2014, Montevallo debuted at number 1 on Billboard Top Country and number 3 on Billboard Top 200. Five days later, Hunt announced his first tour, Lipstick Graffiti. Tickets went on sale Friday, November 14. Within minutes, and in some cases, within seconds of going on sale, the tour sold out 15 of the markets.
Hunt told Taste of Country that he does not write his songs with a specific genre in mind, but rather following his instinct. Hunt's songwriting was heavily influenced by Brad Paisley, whose early hit "He Didn't Have to Be" had a big impact on him as a kid growing up in Georgia: "I remember being at church on Wednesday night at Wednesday night supper, and getting the keys from my mom well before it was over to just go sit in the car and to turn the radio on and hopefully wait and catch that song". Hunt's music contains elements of country, R&B and pop. He cites Billy Currington, Usher, K-Ci and JoJo, R Kelly, Ginuwine and Conway Twitty as various musical influences.
Montevallo - October 27, 2014