Granger Smith Details The ‘REAL Reason’ He’s Quitting Touring Just Days Before His Final Concert

Smith’s final show will take place at Billy Bob’s Texas on August 26.

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Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

August 23, 2023

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Granger Smith; Photo Courtesy YouTube

Granger Smith shared the “REAL Reason” he’s leaving music touring during a sermon at The Adventure Church in Delaware, OH on Sunday, August 20.

The 43-year-old is heading into his final week as a touring artist and is set to play his final show with back-to-back sold-out nights at Billy Bob’s Texas. 

During the sermon, Smith shared an honest explanation detailing his decision to step away from touring.   

Sermon Took Place During A ‘Monumental Week’   

Granger Smith; Photo Courtesy YouTube
Granger Smith; Photo Courtesy YouTube

“This is actually a monumental week for me in my career today being Sunday the first day of what is going to be, Lord willing, the last week of me claiming myself to be a touring musician,” he explained. “I’ll be hanging it up in Billy Bob’s, Texas in Fort Worth, six days from today, and I will no longer be considered a touring musician, something I’ve been identified as for the last 24 years. Besides my family, it has arguably been the greatest passion of my life until now.” 

Has “No Regrets”

He went on to admit that he has “no regrets” and “no second thoughts or doubts” regarding his decision. In fact, Smith said, “it’s not even bittersweet.” 

“There has been, I guess a lot of speculation as to what is the real reason that I’m doing this, a lot of misunderstanding about this big shift in my life. And so this morning I want to tell you the real reason that I’m leaving touring. I want to set the record straight as you will, but first we have to understand exactly what happened to me in this shift of the last five years,” Smith said. “I want to begin with an incredible section of scripture, and this is so profound that its foundation has literally shaped and reoriented everything in my life over the past five years, and it doesn’t only apply to me, it applies to everyone in this room.”

Granger Smith; Photo Courtesy YouTube
Granger Smith; Photo Courtesy YouTube

Smith then quoted Psalm 51 and shared how to relate to his story. At the conclusion of the sermon, Smith went into great detail about his decision to quit touring.

“I could go ahead and tell you the real reason right now, I love music and touring. That’s why I’ve done it for the last 24 years. It’s exhilarating to take the stage with my band brothers as the big lights come on and the fog machines and the crowd roars in approval. I love pouring out lyrics. One song at a time night after night city after city feeding my never ending appetite for my hungry ego. It’s not because I don’t love it,” he insisted. “It’s also not because I’m burnt out or grieving or unwell or sick or heartbroken. I assure you that although I’m really busy and I haven’t slept a whole lot lately, I am more awake and more at peace and more free than any other time in my life.”

The ‘Real Reason’

Smith asserted that he’s not leaving “for any of those reasons,” instead it’s to be known as someone who dedicated his life to Christ.  

Photo Courtesy Granger Smith
Photo Courtesy Granger Smith

“It’s the parable that Jesus used in Matthew 13, it says this, the kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field which a man found and covered up,” he began to explain. ”Then in his joy, he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field knowing Jesus and telling others about him is the treasure of my life, and I want all of you to know this so that you could have him as your treasure too, and I want my family to experience it and I want my kids to know his joy. I don’t want a career based on building a name for myself to get in the way of any of this no matter what kind of popularity or reputation of any kind of career that I have gained.”

Granger Smith continued, “There is not another number-one song I could write. There is not another album I could release or sold-out concert I can perform that is more important than what I’m telling you right now. I wonder if there’s anyone here this morning that’s chasing something like I was, that’s getting in the way of knowing him more.”

He then added, “I don’t want the Granger Smith name to be famous. Instead, I want to proclaim the name of Christ, the one that washed me clean, the one that has freed me from my shame and guilt, the one that gave me a new heart. I want him to be known and I want you to know him, and I want to know him more. That is the real reason I’m leaving touring from now on. When you hear the name Granger Smith, my goal is not for you to say, oh, he was a great country singer, or he was a great entertainer or was a great speaker or author, or he suffered a great loss in his family. Instead of all that, when you hear my name, I want you to say, Granger Smith, I’ve heard of him. Oh, what a great savior we have in Jesus.”

He closed his sermon with a prayer.

Watch

YouTube video

First Shared The News In The Spring

Smith announced his shocking departure from country music on April 11. The singer/songwriter revealed the news to fans via social media and also shared dates for his farewell tour

“This message is so difficult to post,” he wrote in an Instagram post. ”The words for this caption are so hard to find. Not because I don’t believe in the truth of them, but because this marks the end of the longest era in my life! Touring…24 years of it.” 

He continued, ”This summer will be my last tour. I am so encouraged and hopeful and excited and joyful about the next chapter, but to a large extent, I have no idea what it will look like [and] I just want to glorify God the best way that I can. [I] want to learn and grow and serve my local church and allow my pastors to equip and affirm those next steps. Lord willing, I want to be used to help people find their purpose.”

In a video message, Smith admitted that he has been “so nervous” to announce this next chapter of his life. 

“I have felt a strong desire to pursue ministry, and this doesn’t mean I’m going to start a church or a crusade or a revival,” Smith shared in the four-minute video. “This means that me and my family are going to serve our local church. I’m going to pour into that church as members and have my pastors and elders pour into me and disciple me and teach me as I sit under their wise teaching. And then, Lord willing, one day they can affirm me into the next steps of what that might look like to glorify God best From my platform, I’ve also been attending seminary.”

First Book

Smith recently released his first book, Like A River, which documents his family’s life after the tragic loss of their son, River, who passed away when he drowned in their pool in June of 2019. 

Granger Smith - Like A River
Granger Smith – Like A River

“I don’t want the tour to end and then all of a sudden, ‘Oh, now he’s got a book,’” he told PEOPLE. “I just want it to be very cohesive to the sentimental side of what this journey has meant — not even river in terms of my son, River, but just the life river that we’re traveling right now [and] I feel like these last few years I’ve really learned to surrender and just go with the flow and stop fighting against the stream that I did for so long in the music business and in life.”

Successful Career

Throughout his career, Smith released 10 studio albums, one live album, and two EPs. His major label debut, Remington, arrived on March 4, 2016, via Wheelhouse Records. The singer’s biggest chart success came with the release of “Backroad Song,” which hit No.1 on the country radio chart. The follow-up single, “If The Boot Fits,” peaked at No.6 on the country radio airplay chart.

Granger Smith is also known to perform under the alter ego Earl Dibbles Dr. He has released several songs as Earl Dibbles Dr and often goes into character while on stage.

According to PEOPLE, Smith will continue to host his iHeartRadio show, After MidNite, as well as his Granger Smith Podcast and his Yee Yee Apparel company.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.