It’s like country star Sam Hunt was never away, as his new MCA Nashville single ‘Kinfolks,’ released 10 October, makes his joint-highest debut at No. 18 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart. Hunt co-wrote the song with longtime collaborators Zach Crowell, Jerry Flowers and Josh Osborne. It makes its fast start after only three and a half days of being available, and only officially impacted country radio yesterday (14).
The top 20 debut of the new release matches the first-week performance of Hunt’s last single, 2018’s ‘Downtown’s Dead,’ which went on to a No. 15 peak. But between 2014 and 2017, the artist had no fewer than five No. 1s on the Country Airplay chart, four of which also topped Hot Country Songs.
“When I think of ‘kinfolks,’ when I think of that phrase,” says Hunt, “I think of my family, but also I think of my people back home — beyond family. It’s my buddies who’ve been a part of my story from the beginning. I’ve made a lot of new friends and met a lot of new people who are important to me since I’ve moved away, but that core group is still my core group. It’s like that old saying, ‘You can’t make old friends.’”
Hunt is currently in the studio finishing the album that will be his follow-up to the massively successful, Grammy-nominated Montevallo album, which is expected in the new year. That set went triple platinum in the US, topping the country chart and reaching No. 3 on Billboard’s all-genre album listings, and was a platinum record in Canada. It’s still the best-selling debut album by a country artist since 2011; its signature smash ‘Body Like A Back Road’ topped Hot Country Songs for a record-breaking 27 weeks.
Last month, Hunt previewed his new music at a Bud Light House Party event in Calgary last month, where he played the reflective ‘Sinning With You.’