Top 10 Sam Hunt Songs

Sam Hunt Songs

Feature Photo: Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com

Our Top 10 Sam Hunt songs list presents the best Sam Hunt songs like “Body Like a Back Road,” “Take Your Time” “House Party” and many more. Born on December 8, 1984, in Cedartown, Georgia, Sam Hunt started out as a football scholar, hoping to take his love for the sport beyond high school and college. After an impressive run as a high school football player that earned him a 2002 Co-Offensive Player of the Year award, he was chosen by the Georgia Sportswriters Association All-State Class AAA team. From 2003 until 2004, he was a quarterback at Middle Tennessee State University but saw very little gameplay before transferring in 205 to the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

While there, his college football season in 2006 mostly saw him sidelined due to injuries. However, he was far more prolific in 2007 before graduating from the university with a business degree in economics. He also majored in psychology while he was there. Throughout all this, the interest Sam Hunt had in playing music saw him learn how to play the acoustic guitar. While in college, colleagues closest to him noticed the young man’s talent and encouraged him to pursue it further. For Hunt, however, it was treated more like a hobby at that time. He was more interested in pursuing a professional football career. After graduating from university in 2007, he attended the 2008 Kansas City Chiefs tryouts. When he failed to make the team, this is where he decided to pick up and move to Nashville, Tennessee. The intent was to pursue that music career he was encouraged to do so by his old college mates.

Career Shift

When Sam Hunt first arrived in Nashville, he started out as a songwriter before embarking on a solo career as a singer. He co-wrote a series of hits, including ASCAP-award winner, “Come Over,” with Keith Urban in 2012. He also wrote music for Kenny Chesney, Billy Currington, and Reba McEntire. In 2014, when he recorded and released his debut album, Montevallo, this established he was more than capable of vocally performing first-class country music with just as much efficiency as writing them. For the first time in over twenty years, Hunt’s songs topped three country charts at the same time with “Leave the Night On,” “Take Your Time,” and “Make You Miss Me.” Not only has Hunt become widely recognized in the genre of country music, but his unique talent to combine pop and R&B styles into his music has made him one of the few artists that can mesh a series of different styles and make them solid fan-favorite hits. Montevallo was an album that saw four number-one singles spawn from it. This made Sam Hunt become the first solo male artist to have a debut studio album achieve this feat.

The second studio album recorded by Sam Hunt was Southside, which was released in 2020. There was supposed to be a Southside Summer Tour but it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Just like his debut album, Southside produced a string of successful hits, including his biggest hit to date, “Body Like a Back Road.” In addition to his two studio albums, Hunt also has a mixtape, Between the Pine, which was released in 2015.

Sam Hunt Legacy

Montevallo became a certified platinum seller three times by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It also became certified platinum in Canada. Southside repeated this achievement with its Canadian audience and has so far been certified single platinum by the RIAA. In addition to these two studio albums and his mixtape, Hunt also has three EPs to his credit. X2C was released in 2014, followed by Spotify Sessions in 2015, and Spotify Sessions II, also in 2015.

Top 10 Sam Hunt Songs

#10 – 23

“23” was a song Sam Hunt released on September 9, 2021, which is the lead single featured on an upcoming third studio album. In addition to his amazing performance as a vocal artist, the self-taught acoustic guitarist performed this single based on a memory he shared with a previous love interest. Although he’s since moved on, remembering the good times he had with her beautifully reminisced of a time Hunt experienced while he was a young, twenty-three-year-old man. On the US Billboard Country Airplay chart and the Canadian Country charts, “23” peaked at number one. It also became a number thirteen hit on Australia’s Country Hot 50 chart, and it was a crossover hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 at number fifty.

 

#9 – Breaking Up Was Easy in the 90s

2020’s “Breaking Up Was Easy in the 90s” was the fifth of five singles released from Sam Hunt’s second studio album, Southside. On the US Billboard Country Airplay chart, it became a number one hit and has since become certified gold by the RIAA. In Canada, it also became certified gold, as well as peaking as high as number three on its official country music chart. As a crossover hit, “Breaking Up Was Easy in the 90s” reached as high as number thirty-two on the US Billboard Hot 100. The Australian fans enjoyed the single enough to peak it as high as number eleven on their chart.

The song made reference to how relationships prior to the emergence of social media platforms were not so easily put on public display as it is now. Today, whatever drama comes up between a couple will have all the dirty laundry put on display in a manner that makes the world feel so much smaller than it really is. With the classic “he said, she said” that usually comes out after a couple breaks up, sites like Facebook and Twitter serve as a billboard of information, rumors, and tall tales.

# 8 – Hard to Forget

On the US Billboard Country Airplay chart, “Hard to Forget” became yet another number one hit single for Sam Hunt. Released in 2020, it also became a number three hit on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and a number two hit on Canada’s Country Songs chart. On the US Billboard Hot 100, “Hard to Forget” charted as high as number twenty-six. For Hunt, this song was his personal favorite from the album, Southside. Fans with a finely-tuned ear may pick up hints of sampled music from older country songs that led to the composition and lyrics of “Hard to Forget.” The mix of old-school country with the trendier sounds of today makes this song the closest thing to a reggae-meets-hillbilly number as it gets. It’s an easy song to favor and literally a hard one to forget.

#7 – Kinfolks

“Kinfolks” came from Sam Hunt’s second studio album, Southside. It was the third single released from it, as well as the second song from the album to become a number one hit on the US Billboard Country Airplay chart. It peaked as high as number three on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and was one of his many crossover hits after peaking as high as number thirty-four on the US Billboard Hot 100. In Australia and Canada, their music charts peaked “Kinfolks” as high as number two. Performed Sam Hunt style, the tale of one lover meeting the other’s relatives laid out a partially spoken and sung song that challenged the norms laid out by traditional and neo-traditional country music as we know it.

#6 – Make You Miss Me

From Sam Hunt’s debut album, Montevallo, “Make You Miss Me” was the fifth single release and his fourth number one hit. On the US Billboard Country Airplay chart, it reached the top while it peaked as high as number two on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in 2016. This song also served as the fifth time he’d realize certified platinum hit as the RIAA awarded this honor three times over. This ballad featured a mix of country and R&B in a manner that made this such a favorite among fans who love how well Hunt can mesh two different genres together and make it work as one. As a breakup song performer, Sam Hunt knows all too well about relationships that bounce off and on as this was something he’s experienced himself.

#5 – Leave the Night On

“Leave the Night On” was Sam Hunt’s debut single that was released from his debut album, Montevallo. In 2014, it peaked on the US Billboard Country Airplay chart and has since become a tree-time-certified platinum seller by the RIAA. It also won him a Country Music Television Breakthrough Video of the Year Award. As a song focused on spending time with a love interest as the night wears on, the wish for it to be a neverending experience is the type of music romantics can’t get enough of. What made “Leave the Night On” a standout was fusing a hint of hip-hop into something that pushes traditional country music into the territory it hadn’t ventured before. What makes Hunt so appealing as a singer and songwriter is the ability to step out of the box of corporate expectations. Canadian country music fans also loved this song enough to see it peak at number one on its Country Billboard chart, as well as have it become certified gold.

#4 – House Party

“House Party” was an acoustic country guitar favorite that was released by Sam Hunt as a single in 2015. It would be the third song released from his debut album, Montevallo, and it would be the third straight time in a row he’d realize a number one hit. It also joined the ranks of his two previous songs as an RIAA success story. “House Party” was certified platinum four times in the US, and also became a platinum seller in Canada. On the music charts, “House Party” peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and at number one on the US Billboard Country Airplay chart. It also served as one of many crossover hits as it also peaked as high as number twenty-six on the US Billboard Hot 100. Aside from also peaking as high as number two in Canada, “House Party” also gained moderate chart recognition in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

#3 – Break Up in a Small Town

“Break Up in a Small Town” was the fourth single in a row from Sam Hunt to become an RIAA-certified platinum hit. Five times over, this song earned this level of recognition, as well as became platinum in Canada. It didn’t, however, become a number one hit as his previous three songs did. It did peak as high as number two on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and on the US Billboard Country Airplay chart. The inspiration behind this breakup song came after breaking up with his girlfriend at the time, Hannah Lee Fowler. The two have experienced a revolving-door style relationship since 2008 that eventually saw them marry in January 2017. In February 2022, Fowler did file for a divorce but has since retracted this request.

#2 – Take Your Time

When “Take Your Time” was released as a single in 2014, it became a number twenty hit on the US Billboard Hot 100, as well as a number one hit on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. This crossover genre success marked him as one of the few artists to perform so well in the US Billboard’s long history of charting hits according to category. This single, along with the album, Montevallo, placed Sam Hunt in the same league as Clint Black as far as having a debut studio album and single peak at the top of the year-end charts during the same year. As a mid-tempo ballad, the appeal behind “Take Your Time” was the mix of spoken and sung by a man who expressed his love and patience for a woman who captured his heart. “Take Your Time” became certified platinum by the RIAA five times, by Music Canada three times, and in Italy two times.

#1 – Body Like a Back Road

After it was released as a single in 2017, “Body Like a Back Road” became a nine-time certified RIAA platinum hit, nine-time platinum in Canada, and six-time platinum with ARIA. It also became certified platinum in New Zealand, and it earned a silver certification with the British Phonographic Industry. It won Song of the Year and Single Record of the Year at the 2018 Academy of Country Music Awards, and it won the 2017 Teen Choice Award for Choice Country Song. The song was deliberately written and performed as a contrast to Sam Hunt’s previous work from his debut album, Montevallo. “Body Like a Back Road” was instrumentally responsible for Hunt’s second studio album, Southside. It also broke a fifty-five-year-old record held by Leroy Van Dyke’s “Walk On By.”

Despite several critics disliking “Body Like a Back Road” due to a mix of political and social reasons, the voice of the fans, as always, matters most. The criticism came from the disapproval of using the shape of a woman’s body in context with a back road. During an era where songs of this nature were never an issue before, if “Body Like a Back Road” was released back then, the critics wouldn’t have been so biased against it. “Body Like a Back Road” was meant as a light-hearted song and the fans who knew and respected this loved it. Again, the people who choose not to cave in to political whims and social expectations laid out by the unqualified will always have the final say as to what makes anything truly worthwhile.

When nations such as Australia, the Czech Republic, New Zealand, and Slovakia each enjoy this song to become ranked on their respective hit charts, this is a good indication that “Body Like a Back Road” is a world-class song. When it peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, the US Billboard Country Airplay chart, and the Canadian Country Songs chart, it was well-deserved. It even became a number six hit on the US Billboard Hot 100, which served as a good indicator this was more than just a great country tune. It also had what it took to become a pop rock favorite.

Top 10 Sam Hunt Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022

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