It's hard to believe that Sam Hunt's debut single was released only six years ago because it feels like he's been one of the hottest acts in country music for much longer. Despite only releasing two country albums so far, Montevallo and Southside, the Georgia native has already had multiple number one hits on the Billboard charts, some which were written for other country stars before he hit it big.
Though the singer-songwriter initially had plans of becoming a professional football player, he packed his bags for Nashville in 2008 when things didn't pan out with the Kansas City Chiefs. Hunt decided to officially try to make it in the music biz. Just a few years later, he landed his first big songwriting hit when he co-wrote Kenny Chesney's 2012 country song "Come Over" with producer Shane McAnally, followed by Keith Urban's "Cop Car" and Billy Currington's "We Are Tonight." After co-writing "Love Somebody" for Reba McEntire, Hunt finally landed himself a record deal with MCA Nashville in 2014.
His debut album, named after his wife Hannah Lee Fowler's hometown, made it platinum, and Hunt has gone on to tour with the likes of Lady A and Luke Bryan, collaborated with Carrie Underwood, and appealed to pop and country audiences on the charts, much like Taylor Swift's early days.
Here are our picks for the 8 best Sam Hunt songs to date.
8. "Downtown's Dead"
Though this is Hunt's lowest charting single to date, that doesn't mean it doesn't deserve a shout out. Peaking at 14 on the Hot Country Songs Chart isn't too shabby. This breakup song, written by Hunt, Shane McAnally, Zach Crowell, Charlie Handsome and Josh Osborne, was released as the second single from sophomore album Southside. It's different from some of Hunt's more "country meets hip-hop" hits while accurately capturing the lonely feelings in public places you can experience after a painful breakup.
7. "Leave The Night On"
Another co-write with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, "Leave The Night On" was Hunt's lead single from his debut album. It charted on the Billboard Hot 100 and was a number one hit on the country charts. The music video also won the 2015 CMT Breakthrough Video of the Year award. The song is fun, easy to sing along with, and -- half a decade later -- it really holds up.
6. "Body Like A Back Road"
One of the best songs has to be his greatest hit right? Southside's lead single was breaking records right and left when it was released in 2017. It also became the highest-ranked country song on the pop charts since Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise." It was one of the biggest songs of the year and for good reason. It's lighthearted, catchy, and we get some prime storytelling from Hunt and his usual team of co-writers.
5. "Break Up In A Small Town"
His debut album was heavily inspired by his painful breakup from Hannah Lee (they're happily married now) and "Break Up In A Small Town" is a great example of one of Hunt's gifts at genre-bending. A little R&B influence is evident in his "sing-talking" moments and Hunt proves he's quite the wordsmith. The song peaked at number two on the country charts.
4. "Take Your Time"
Hunt's second number one hit on the charts from Montevallo really sealed his popularity with the pop and country audiences. Though the modern love song has straightforward lyrics, the music video covered the horrors of domestic violence. The song also earned Hunt an ACM Award nomination for Single of the Year in 2015.
3. "Hard to Forget"
This new song from Southside is really just prime Sam Hunt. A little old school country with the twangy guitar mixed in with some modern touches and even some reggae? It sounds like it wouldn't work but it does...very well.
This traditional love song meets Sam Hunt's fast-talking country style. Southside's third single has a great melody and poignant lyrics about wanting to introduce a lover to important family members. "Kinfolks" made it to number one on the US Country Airplay chart.
1. "House Party"
While Montevallo was full of breakup songs, it also gave us the incredibly fun and upbeat country bop "House Party." The number one hit was so popular, they made two music videos.