Sam Hunt had plenty of reasons to celebrate Monday (Jan. 26): his first No. 1 as an artist, his third No. 1 as a songwriter, and the launch of a sold-out headlining tour. So he marked the occasion with a performance at Rocketown in Nashville—complete with breakdancing kids and graffiti artists.
Hunt and his team kicked off the festivities by toasting his debut single “Leave The Night On” reaching No. 1. After success penning hits for other artists, Hunt co-wrote the song with frequent collaborators Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne—it was their seventh and fifth chartoppers, respectively. All three songwriters are ASCAP members. “I think Josh is a secret weapon,” said McAnally, “but I think the secret is out.” Saluting Hunt, he added, “he makes music that comes from the heart… without regard for genre.”
“You are a game changer,” agreed UMPG’s Kent Earls.
“Leave The Night On” has sold one million copies, making it Hunt’s first platinum single as an artist. The follow-up, “Take Your Time,” is the most downloaded country song on this week’s chart.
McAnally called his co-producer Zach Crowell a “mindreader” for helping complete the sound they were striving for. “Leave The Night On” is Crowell’s first No. 1 as a producer, though his experience includes manning the boards for LeCrae.
Hunt said he had been writing with McAnally and Osborne for about five years and thanked them for believing in him. Watching from the crowd were his parents Joan and Allen Hunt, visiting from Cedartown, Georgia. The MCA Nashville artist also noted appreciation for his team before launching into an enthusiastic set including “Leave The Night On,” “Take Your Time,” “Break Up In A Small Town,” “House Party” and “Speakers.”
His Lipstick Graffiti outing opens Thursday, Jan. 29 with a sold-out show at famed Los Angeles venue The Troubador. Later this year he joins Lady Antebellum’s tour.