Granger Smith Reveals Why He May Not Let His Kids Read His New Book, ‘Like A River’

“We’re still praying about the right way to go about that,” the singer explained.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

July 24, 2023


4:19 pm

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Granger Smith; Photo by Andrew Wendowski; Smith Children; Photo Courtesy Twitter

In just a few days, Granger Smith will release his memoir, Like a River, an intimate look into his life through moments of tragedy, grief, addiction and healing. With topics like these, the country star reveals that the book might be too heavy for younger readers, including his own kids. 

Smith took to social media on Monday, July 24, sharing a photo of his kids with the new book open in front of them. The post was paired with a caption that cautions other parents about some of the themes he discusses throughout the pages. 

“There is some tough stuff in this book. So much so that we haven’t let our own kids read it yet,” he explained. “We’re still praying about the right way to go about that. Though they lived it, there are raw/dark moments that even they don’t know about. I would ask that you have the same discernment and caution with your kids.”

He went on to reveal that even his 9-year-old son Lincoln, who was present for some of the difficult times, broke down while seeing some of the images inside. 

“I will say this— just looking at the pictures in the book, Lincoln cried pretty hard and that’s rare for him. That was probably some emotion that needed to come out.”

Out August 1, Like a RiverFinding the Faith and Strength to Move Forward After Loss and Heartache unloads an incredible raw delivery of Granger Smith’s journey through chapters including the tragic drowning death of his three-year-old son, River, in 2019. The candid writing allows readers to better understand his family’s experiences and offers the chance for others to find their own healing if they have endured similar experiences. 

“I never expected to write a book, but some of the greatest things in life come unexpectedly,” Smith shared via press release. “My book doesn’t hold back. I share everything my family went through—the highs and lows, the good and bad. Writing Like a River was one of the most emotional undertakings I’ve ever been through, but it’s also been one of the most fulfilling.”

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

In the midst of grieving this tragedy, Smith also found the strength to continue touring and creating new music. He relied on self-help books and rigid nutrition and exercise programs to help him stay on track and get through the days. However, at night, his coping mechanisms turned to vaping THC oils in an attempt to get enough sleep and continue on the next day. 

“All those things served a purpose in helping me navigate my river of sorrow,” he continued. “I was doing all this to control my body in hopes it would help me control my mind.”

The goal was to create healthy habits, but the excessive routine and need for these habits ended up turning into an addiction. 

Eventually, he discovered that nothing he tried could completely prevent him from spiraling into what he referred to as his darkest moment, one in which he found himself faced with a decision that could change his life for better or worse.

For more information on Like a River visit The book is available for purchase in hardcover, ebook and audiobook read by Smith.

The release of this book will follow Smith’s decision to leave the music business after 24 years of touring as an award-winning, platinum-selling, country music singer-songwriter. Instead, he has chosen to follow his heart and pursue a future in ministry. Smith intends to serve his local church while continuing to work on earning a master’s degree at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, along with public speaking and authorship. 

Over the course of his career, Smith released ten studio albums, one live album, and two Eps. Additionally, he has charted over eight singles on the Billboard country charts, including the No.1 hit “Backroad Song.”

Granger Smith is currently on the road for his final “Like A River” tour. This farewell trek launched on April 13 in Oshkosh, WI and is slated to continue through August 25 and August 26 where he will take the stage for the final time with back-to-back shows in Fort Worth, TX. 

His next performance is scheduled for July 27 in Marion, IL.

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.