Steve Sanders was born in a small town in Georgia, and was one of three children. His parents discovered their son's musical talent by accident when Steve was only five years old. Herbert Sanders, Steve's father, was learning to play a gospel song on the piano, and stopped playing abruptly in frustration. But Steve continued singing, and began his career.
Herbert and Steve began to perform in area churches; soon they were asked to sing on a Macon gospel TV program. They were touring the Southern gospel music circuit in less than a year - and "Little Steve" cut his first record at age seven.
At 12, he won the lead in the Broadway show "The Yearling" which earned him critical acclaim. He went on to land an important part alongside Jane Fonda and Michael Caine in the movie "Hurry Sundown", directed by Otto Preminger. By the time he was 14, Steve had also found success in television, appearing on programs such as "To Tell The Truth", "The Ed Sullivan Show," "Gunsmoke," and "Noon Wine," a dramatic special starring Jason Robards and Olivia DeHavilland.
After succeeding on stage and screen, he returned to music, and in 1982 began singing with the Oak Ridge Boys, becoming their lead singer through 1995.