Granger Smith Shares Sweet Photo of Newborn Son that Tributes Late Son River

by Samantha Whidden

Just a little over a month after his son Maverick was born, country singer Granger Smith took to his Instagram to share a sweet and touching tribute to his late son, River. 

“Momma’s good looks, daddy’s hair and big brother’s favorite car,” Granger Smith wrote in the post caption, which features Maverick in a blanket holding River’s toy car. 

Granger Smith and his wife Amber experienced a tragic loss when their three-old-son River drowned in the Smith family pool in 2019. River was previously in the music video for Smith’s hit single “Happens Like That.”

Less than two years after River’s drowning, the Smiths announced they were expecting another son. Amber gave birth to Maverick on August 20, 2021.

Granger Smith Opens Up About His Son River’s Drowning

One year after the downing of River, Granger Smith and Amber sat down with Today to share more details about the incident that claimed their son’s life. 

“I was 20 feet away,” Granger Smith recalled. The country singer said he was playing gymnastics with his daughter. River was outside of the locked gate with his other son. “There wasn’t music playing. There wasn’t any kind of distractions. It was just a quiet, 7 p.m. summer evening. It was so silent.”

Granger Smith also said that there wasn’t a splash nor a call for help. He just saw River prior to the incident. Amber also stated that most of the time that drownings happen is when children are not supposed to be swimming. “People will say, ‘Watch your child,’ but it happens so fast. It’s just so fast. And it’s so quiet. It’s not like you see in the movies, splashing around. It’s just silent.”

When asked what kind of advice he would have given to himself prior to River’s death, Granger Smith said supervision. “Just watch your kids. And I know now, from my own experience, that no human being on this planet is capable to say that’s enough. Because that requires 24/7.”

Granger Smith then shared that even a gate, swim lessons, or a pool alarm is just not enough. “[If] you take every precaution you can, and you’re well-educated and you know how fast it can be. You’re much better off. You’re much better protected.”

Amber goes on to share about the grief and pain that she, Granger, and the rest of the family experience. But with the sadness came happiness. “Going through the worst of what I hope we ever have to go through, we still have joyful moments. We choose to find joy. And you have to.”