Canaan Smith is a native of Williamsburg,Va., and the fourth of six children. Growing up, he listened to a variety of music from George Strait to Rage Against the Machine. Smith and his friends recorded an album in high school, thanks to their friends' support through Kickstarter, an organization that assists artists in raising money to undertake specific creative projects.After graduation, the band split up and he spent a year at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., before heading to Florida's Full Sail University, where he entered an accelerated program and received a recording/engineering degree.Afterward he moved to Nashville to attend Belmont University and began performing around town. He began writing with numerous collaborators, including Love and Theft's Stephen Barker Liles. Their song "Runaway" became Love and Theft's first single and a Top 10 hit.Smith also competed on TV's The Amazing Race.He released his first single, "We Got Us," in 2012 and toured with Sugarland later that year.