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Country singer Granger Smith retires to pursue faith, 3 years after son’s tragic drowning

After years of captivating audiences with his country music, American artist Granger Smith has announced he will be leaving his successful career behind to devote his life to God. The 43-year-old singer and songwriter, who hails from Texas, took to social media earlier this month to reveal his decision, stating that his upcoming “Like a River” tour, named after his late son, would be his last.

In the emotional announcement, Smith spoke of his desire to step away from the music industry and focus on his ministry at his local church, which is located just outside of Austin, Texas. He expressed a sense of relief at the decision, saying that he had been contemplating this move for some time.

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Smith’s music career spans over two decades, during which he has released numerous chart-topping hits and performed on some of the biggest stages in the country music scene. His latest album, “Country Things, Vol. 2,” was released in 2020 and received critical acclaim.

The singer’s decision to leave the industry has come as a surprise to many of his fans and peers, who have expressed both sadness and support for his decision. Smith, however, appears to be at peace with his choice and is looking forward to the next chapter of his life.

In his announcement, Smith revealed that his final show will take place on August 26, 2023. The show, which will be held in Tyler, Texas, is expected to be an emotional and memorable event for both the artist and his fans.

Smith’s decision to pursue a career in ministry is not uncommon among musicians, as many have found solace and purpose in using their talents to serve a higher power. In recent years, several prominent musicians have turned to religion and spirituality as a means of finding fulfillment and meaning in their lives.

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Despite his decision to leave the music industry, Smith’s legacy is sure to live on, as his contributions to the country music scene have left an indelible mark on the genre. His music has touched the hearts of countless fans, and his decision to walk away from it all is a testament to his unwavering faith and commitment to his beliefs.

As Smith prepares to embark on this new journey, his fans and peers are wishing him all the best in his future endeavors. While he may be leaving the music industry behind, his impact will continue to be felt for years to come.

Singer Granger Smith permanently ends his career to serve God 3 years after his son drowned

In 2019 his 3-year-old son, River drowned and the loss took a great emotional and psychological toll on Smith.

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Singer Granger Smith permanently ends his career to serve God 3 years after his son drowned


The Smith family was outside their home when River slipped through their pool gate and went into the water. River was quickly pulled out of the pool, but he was without oxygen for too long. Despite the efforts of doctors, he later died. River’s eldest siblings, Lincoln and London, witnessed the devastating accident.

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Smith’s wife, Amber, later revealed that their son’s donated organs helped save the lives of two people.

Singer Granger Smith permanently ends his career to serve God 3 years after his son drowned

The star admitted that for a while, he yearned for a new sense of purpose. Eager to devote himself to his faith, Smith is currently working toward a master’s degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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He now says he is stopping music totally and will focus on service to God.

“I have a huge feeling of relief now that… I’ve been able to tell the world exactly what my intentions are and what I’m going to do,” he told Fox News Digital.

“For the last few years, a handful of people had known that [I was] probably leaving country music. [And] it’s difficult to get on stage in different environments, in different cities and play music for people knowing, as I’m looking into their eyes, that I’m probably going to tell them in a few months that I’m not doing this anymore. That’s a difficult way to live. And so, there’s a big sense of relief now that I’ve told everyone.”

“I wrestled with the idea for a long time that this doesn’t feel right,” Smith admitted. “A lot of people will probably think, ‘Why don’t you just sing country music, but talk about God on the stage?’ Or, ‘Why don’t you sing a couple of hymns on the stage? And that fixes everything.’ I wrestled with that for a couple of years… A lot of pastors and preachers told me, ‘Country music is your ministry, brother. You’re in a dark world. You’re bringing light to a dark world. You’re going into bars and stages where people might not have heard the message of Christ and you get to speak it – that is your ministry.’”

“I believed it. And part of me still does believe that. But here’s the deal – it wasn’t ever about that. It wasn’t ever about finding the best platform to tell people about Christ. The first thing that needed to happen was I needed to make myself smaller because I was exalting myself on the stage. I was glorifying myself. I was seeking praise from people. And by doing that, it doesn’t matter if I was proclaiming Christ because I was doing it the wrong way. I was proclaiming Christ from a self-exalting platform. And that was the contradiction I finally had to come to terms with. I might have a stage down the road, but right now I need to completely surrender that and give it over to God.”

Smith said he’s eager to be an active member of his church, one that would allow him to give back to his local community and connect with those who are feeling lost in their lives.

Singer Granger Smith permanently ends his career to serve God 3 years after his son drowned

He further stated that it was “therapeutic” to pour out his feelings into a new book he has written as he attempted to make sense of the tragedy. There were days, he said, when he struggled to get up in the morning.

“Most of it was failure,” he said. “Trying to figure out how I was going to wake up in the morning and start a new day knowing I have a dead son is something that I failed at for months and months… I tried everything. I tried the self-help books and I tried different forms of exercise, diets. Different edibles – anything. If you would’ve said, ‘Are you going through heartache? Are you going through extreme grief? Try this. I read about this, try it,’ I’d probably try it… I was going to do anything so that I could be strong for my family. Nothing was working.”

“Most people don’t know that as I was touring and playing music around this time, I might have had a smile on my face, but I was pretty messed up,” he shared.

In 2021, they welcomed a son named Maverick. The family shared it was important that Maverick receive formal swimming safety lessons.

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With over 200,000 followers on Twitter and close to 800,000 subscribers on YouTube, Smith said that immersing himself in his faith gave him a lifeline and he would miss Country music.

“Let’s look at it this way – when you have a 3- or 4-year-old child, they might be going through something really tough, like trying to tie their shoes,” he explained. “They’re getting frustrated… they’re hungry… They’re just going through this tough time of just tying their shoes and everything is going wrong. Then a parent comes in, picks them up, and says, ‘Stop fighting. I got you. I’ll get your shoes tied. I’ll get you to school. Just stop fighting.’ It’s that same feeling I had when I finally released myself and said, ‘God, I’m giving this all to you. Just take it.’ And then that fatherly feeling of Him just wrapping his arms around me and going, ‘I got you.’ That’s the feeling of relief that I had.”

“There’s a lot I’m going to miss in country music,” he said. “I’ve been doing it for a long time, for multiple decades, for a reason. It wasn’t because I was collecting a paycheck, because most of those years I wasn’t. I do it and I did it because I loved telling stories through songs that people could relate to… That’s what I loved most about it – seeing those reactions from people as we took them on a journey.”

“There’s a kind of joy that can coexist with grief,” he said. “You could be grieving and yet joyful and hopeful and have peace about that. That is my journey. A lot of people have different journeys on how to get to that location, but this is my journey on how I got there.”

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