Granger Smith Opens Up About Grief, Faith & More In Highly-Anticipated Book

By Kelly Fisher

August 1, 2023

Photo: Getty Images

Granger Smith’s long-awaited book has finally arrived. The country star-turned-minister published Like A River on Tuesday (August 1), opening up about his personal journey through grief after losing his 3-year-old son River Kelly Smith, welcoming another child after the tragic loss, the impact on his faith and more. Smith deemed his book the “most important piece of media that I could ever release.”

Smith announced Like A River earlier this year, in a heartfelt video he shared on his social media channels that also explained why he was stepping back from country music to pursue ministry instead.

“It shouldn’t surprise you what that book is about,” Smith said at that time. “It’s about from when I lost my son, Riv, to when we had Mav, and everything in between. What the Lord did and the radical way of opening my eyes.

“That message is so important to tell,” Smith continued, later hinting at the possibility of a book tour on the horizon. “It’s the most important piece of media that I could ever release, that I ever have released. So, it’s gonna take a lot of time for me to get out, and Lord willing, do some kind of book tour, tot all about that get it in front of as many people (as possible) to hear that message. It’s become a life mission for me.”

Smith and his wife, Amber Smith, lost River in a tragic drowning accident in the summer of 2019, Smith’s rep confirmed at the time. In August 2021, the Smiths welcomed son Maverick Beckham Smith. They chose a name, in part, to honor River with the letters R-I-V.

The After MidNite host recently shared a word of caution to parents before allowing their kids to read Like A River. Smith said that the book contains “some tough stuff,” and noted that he hasn’t allowed his own children to read it yet. 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. 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.”

Listen to the trailer here:

Granger Smith
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