Many in Nashville thought Sam Hunt wouldn’t make it as a country artist because his music was not country enough. What Nashville didn’t know, love it or hate it, was that the definition of country music was changing.
Sam Hunt came to town just as the new generation of country fans, who were brought up on a amalgamation of different genres, were coming of age. The sexy singer himself, was influenced by a multitude of different musical genres. Being able to connect with the new country fan, Hunt proved the industry wrong as he wrote and performed the music that he loves—the music that combined that cross-blend of genres he grew up on.
Fast forward to today and Hunt’s 15 in a 30 Tour is selling out across the country. During a stop at Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater, the “Body Like a Backroad” singer took fans through the evolution of his musical influences from Travis Tritt’s “Here’s a Quarter Call Someone Who Cares” to R. Kelly’s “Ignition”—helping to create Hunt’s musical style today.
“Between High School and moving up here to Nashville, Tennessee, I got into all different styles of music, all different kinds of music,’ Hunt told the cheering crowd. “But when I picked up a guitar and wrote a song for the first time, it was the country and the R&B that came out. When I first got to town, a lot of the music business folks told me, ‘Hey man, you gotta change something up. This just isn’t going to work in country,’ Hunt continued. “But by the grace of God, a fella that I’d been riding around listening to just a few years before, Kenny Chesney—he came along and somehow he heard a song that I’d written with a couple of buddies of mine and he recorded it.”
That song was, “Come Over,” a No. 1 hit for Chesney. The song gave Hunt the assurance he needed to pursue his career and know that his music would be accepted. Thus, Sam Hunt’s career was born.
Watch as the 33-year-old explains the history of his musical evolution in 5 minutes.