Granger Smith left the country music world in 2023 to focus on ministry, but has he ever thought about making a grand return to his former life? The “Backroad Song” hitmaker exclusively told Life & Style about life after leaving country music and revealed if he’d ever go back.

“It’s definitely been a switch. I haven’t really slowed down timewise, but I still travel and do speaking things and I have a book out, so I’m kind of supporting that,” Granger, 44, told Life & Style at the iHeartCountry Festival at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas, on May 4. “So, but it’s very different than the 24 years of country music and I actually really love it. I really love it.”

The “If the Boot Fits” singer continued, “My life now is much more about today and when I go to sleep at night, I could think it was enough. As a country music singer, you could never think that. It’s always the next album or the next tour or the next single. And so now, when I’m going and doing speaking engagements, they don’t build upon each other. it was just today and I could say today was enough.”

When asked if Granger would consider stepping back into the country music world now or in the future, he said, “If you’re gonna ask me right now, if I was gonna predict it, I would say no. No.”

Granger, who signed his first music contract in Nashville at 19 years old and released 11 studio albums throughout his career, revealed in April 2023 that he planned to leave country music touring to focus on his work as an American Southern Baptist minister.

“This message is so difficult to 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 captioned a video announcement on Instagram. “This summer will be my last tour.”

Granger Smith Reveals If He'll Ever Return to Country Music
Jason Kempin/Getty Images

He continued, “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. 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.”

Granger’s Like a River tour concluded in August 2023. That same month, he shed more light on his decision to step away from country music in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, revealing that it came after the death of his and wife Amber Emily Bartlett’s 4-year-old son, River, in June 2019. After losing River in a drowning accident in their home pool, Granger turned to alcohol and weed to cope, and he described a night when he hit “rock bottom.”

“There was one night in Boise, Idaho, where I just wanted to end it all, when the weed wasn’t working anymore and the alcohol couldn’t numb it and self-help certainly couldn’t help anymore cause it takes a level of strength to self-help,” he said, revealing that he had a gun in his hand on his tour bus. “And when you don’t have any strength, what do you do? Maybe the only answer is to end it all because maybe that’s where the peace is. Maybe that’s when you can finally rest in that.”

Granger said the thought of his other children at home saved him from taking action. “I thought I just saw their faces and then I said, ‘Jesus, help me,’” he said.

“Giving up [country music] now is still a huge sacrifice for me because I do love it and it is a passion that l’ve had for a long time, but I just feel like now I have a more important message to give and there’s not enough time to do music,” Granger concluded.

If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).