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Rooted in Country: Conner Smith on Kenny Chesney's 'Big Star'


Nashville-raised singer-songwriter Conner Smith has had his sights set on country music since before grade school. Songwriting and storytelling has always captivated him; his mom interviewed songwriters while he was growing up and Smith spent much of his time listening to the hidden stories behind his favorite radio hits. By the time he was 6 years old, he was penning his own songs. At the age of 9, he became one of the youngest songwriters ever to sign with BMI and he began collaborating with award-winning songwriters Ashley Gorley and Crowell while still in high school.

But the now 21-year-old, who recently released his debut EP Didn't Go Too Far, says his dreams of being a country singer formulated when he was just 4 years old -- the first time he heard Kenny Chesney's "Big Star." The song, written by Stephony Smith and recorded for Chesney's 2002 album No Shoes No Shirt No Problems, centered on a young dreamer who goes on to become a famous singer. It instantly resonated with the young Smith.

"When I was 4 years old, I was given a guitar for my birthday. The first song I ever played and sang the moment it was handed to me was 'Big Star.' I guess it foreshadowed me ultimately wanting to chase that same dream," Smith tells Wide Open Country. "That was the song for me as a kid. That was always my song and there is a lot of video evidence to prove it!"


Read More: Rooted in Country: The Kentucky Gentlemen on Maren Morris' 'Second Wind'

Smith's viral TikTok song "I Hate Alabama" as well as his current single, "Learn From It," can be found on his EP Didn't Go Too Far, produced by Zach Crowell.

This summer, Smith will join Thomas Rhett on his Bring the Bar to You Tour.



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