Granger Smith’s 3-Year-Old Son Tragically Dies In Accident

Our deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers go out to Granger Smith and his wife Amber as they mourn the loss…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

June 6, 2019


1:29 pm

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Granger Smith and son River; Photo via Facebook

Our deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers go out to Granger Smith and his wife Amber as they mourn the loss of their youngest son, River Kelly Smith.

Precious River was just 3-years-old at the time of his unthinkable death.

Smith emotionally shared the news of River’s passing with fans via social media on Thursday.

“I have to deliver unthinkable news,” he wrote. “We’ve lost our youngest son, River Kelly Smith. Following a tragic accident, and despite doctor’s best efforts, he was unable to be revived.”

“Amber and I made the decision to say our last goodbyes and donate his organs so that other children will be given a second chance at life,” he continued in the emotional letter. “Our family is devastated and heartbroken, but we take solace in knowing he is with his Heavenly Father. Riv was special. Everyone that met him knew that immediately. The joy he brought to our lives cannot be expressed and his light will be forever in our hearts. If there are words to say more, I cannot find them in this moment. Love the ones close to you. There has never been a more difficult moment for us than this.”

In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family is asking fans to please send donations to Dell Children’s Medical Center in River’s name.

River Kelly is survived by his father, Granger, mother, Amber, and siblings London and Lincoln.

Update: A rep for Smith told The Tennessean that River drowned at the family’s home. 

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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 and her work being featured on 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.