Artist of the Week: Sam Hunt

Following the success of his debut album and its singles, the rising country singer recently won the New Artist of the Year title at the 2015 American Music Awards.

AceShowbiz - %cSam Hunt% has won a bunch of "new artist" awards this year. However, he's not really a new face in the industry. He began his career as a songwriter before he's better known as a solo performer following the release of his 2014 hit "Leave the Night on".

However, a lot of fans probably didn't know that Hunt was almost in the NFL before he decided to pursue music. He was a quarterback at Middle Tennessee State University and University of Alabama at Birmingham, and he got to play at the Kansas City Chiefs' training camp after graduating from UAB.

Unfortunately, he failed to impress any NFL team. He later moved to Nashville and began writing songs which were later recorded by some of country's big names like %cKenny Chesney%, %cKeith Urban% and %cBilly Currington%.

After years of working behind the scenes, Hunt independently released the single "Raised on It" in September 2013 and followed it with a free mixtape a month later. He reached mainstream success after signing with MCA Nashville in early 2014 and dropped his debut album "Montevallo" later in the year.

The record peaked at No. 3 on Billboard 200 and at No. 1 on the country albums chart. In addition to "Leave the Night On", two more cuts "Take Your Time" and "House Party" hit the top 40 of Billboard Hot 100.

For everything he's achieved in the past year, he has been nominated for and won several New Artist of the Year Awards at some prestigious prize-giving events, including the 2015 Academy of Country Music Awards. Most recently, he won the same title at the 2015 American Music Awards after besting the likes of %cFetty Wap%, %cTove Lo% and %cThe Weeknd%.

Speaking of his first-ever AMA in an interview with Billboard after the show last week, Hunt said, "I didn't realize the magnitude of all these little pieces that were adding up." He then teased a follow-up to "Montevallo", adding, "Fortunately the first record has done well enough that I think I'll have an opportunity to do a second one!"

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