Sam Hunt was practically unknown this time last year, but he’s quickly becoming one of the biggest success stories of 2015 in country music.
The singer-songwriter has written hits for others artists, including Kenny Chesney, Billy Currington and Keith Urban, but he was not familiar to most fans when he released his debut album, Montevallo, in October of 2014. The album became an instant hit when its first single, “Leave the Night On,” hit No. 1, becoming the best-selling debut album from a country artist since 2011.
The album also reached No. 1, as did its second single, “Take Your Time,” which has become Hunt’s second platinum-selling single. Montevallo is the best-selling country album of 2015 to date and was recently certified gold, marking sales of 500,000 units. That feat makes Hunt the fastest new country artist to earn gold since 2012.
“Take Your Time” also had an extraordinary run at the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, from Feb. 21 through May 2. Hunt was nominated for New Artist of the Year in the 2015 ACM Awards, which was very validating for an artist whose mix of spoken word delivery and R&B influences places him well outside the country mainstream.
“It’s such a morale boost for the team and everyone who has been working so hard to progress this whole project and everything that we’re doing,” Hunt says. “Not that we’re down and out or anything, we’ve had so many really cool things over the last several months.”
Despite his success, Hunt acknowledges he’s got some work to do before the country genre will fully embrace his unique approach. “I feel like we are very new to this world,” he notes, “and we have a long way to go and definitely still have to prove our being worthy of belonging.”
Hunt has just released “House Party” as the third single from Montevallo.
Watch Sam Hunt Perform ‘Leave the Night On’ for Taste of Country