Sam Hunt, born Sam Lowry Hunt on December 8, 1984, is an American country music singer, songwriter and former college football player. Raised in rural Cedartown, Georgia, he was a gifted athlete and had a fine career as a college quarterback at both Middle Tennessee State University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he majored in philosophy before graduating with a business degree in economics.
Hunt grew up loving 1990s country. He developed a singing and songwriting style after hearing all manner of rap, R&B, and other urban pop styles in college locker rooms. After graduating from UAB in 2007, his football talents were noticed by the NFL and he was invited to training camp with the Kansas City Chiefs. "I knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I needed to find out if I could take it all the way," Hunt said.
In 2008, two months after the unsuccessful attempt to impress the football team, he moved to Nashville to begin his career as a musician. He immediately signed a publishing deal and began writing songs. He's written or co-written a number of records which were later performed by big names like Kenny Chesney ("Come Over"), Keith Urban ("Cop Car"), Billy Currington ("We Are Tonight") and others.
Hunt made his commercial recording debut when he independently released the single "Raised on It" in 2013. He followed it with a 15-song demo mixtape called "Between the Pines" that came out also independently in the same year. Hunt signed a recording deal with MCA Nashville early in 2014 and the label released the single "Leave the Night on" that same year in advance of an album.
"Leave the Light On" became a No. 1 country hit later that year. Hunt's debut album "Montevallo" was released in October 2014 and debuted at No. 1 on the country chart and No. 3 on the pop chart. It has also generated three other hits including "Take Your Time" and "House Party", which both reached number one, as well as "Break Up in a Small Town". His success has resulted in many nominations and awards including New Artist of the Year Award at the 2015 AMAs in November 2015.