The Story Behind ‘Locked Up’ By Sam Hunt

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So, what is the story and inspiration behind “Locked Up” from Sam Hunt?

The midtempo track features his signature 808s paired with country twang. Additionally, the country crooner is set to give his televised debut of the song during the 2024 CMT Music Awards on April 7 on CBS. The annual awards show will take place at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas.

Who Wrote ‘Locked Up’ By Sam Hunt?

Sam Hunt co-wrote the song with co-writers Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, and Jerry Flowers. Zach Crowell produced the track.

The Story Behind ‘Locked Up’

Specifically, the inspiration behind “Locked Up,” all began with the song title. Hunt recalled that he had the two words in his phone and initially had “no idea” how the story would unfold into a song.

“I had no idea about what it may be about, although I have had a few run-ins with the law in my lifetime,” he admitted. You’ll recall that in 2019, Hunt was arrested and charged with a DUI. He was later sentenced to a year in jail. The time was suspended aside from 48 hours. The song quickly came to the creative team and was able to solidify the lyrics rather swiftly.

“My producer was playing me some music,” Hunt recalled. “He had built some tracks and was playing through a few songs, and I was looking at my phone, and I saw the title in the songs. The music sounded like the title, which is always a good start, and I just started singing that chorus. I think I filled in, 30-40 percent of the lyric in one take.”

Sam Hunt ‘Locked Up’ Music Video

Fittingly, Sam Hunt had his wife, Hannah Lee Fowler co-star in the music video with him. The couple portrayed Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash in the memorable visual, which was set in a prison. Hunt’s creative team found an old abandoned prison in East Tennessee to use as the backdrop. Hunt wanted to pay tribute to Cash when he performed his Folsom Prison concert.

“I don’t know if I did Johnny Cash justice,” Hunt added. “I doubt I did, but I enjoyed making the video and had my family out there with me and met a lot of cool folks who came out to help us with this video, so that was one of the more fun video experiences I’ve had.”

Jacklyn is the Editor In Chief of Stage Right Secrets. Jacklyn's photography and articles can also be found on The Recording Academy's GRAMMYPro, GRAMMYU, PopCrush, Taste of Country, among other outlets. Besides press Jacklyn is a "Jack of All Trades" working various jobs at local concerts and touring.