Luke Bryan Affirms Country Music as His Calling, Reflects on Challenges and Striking a Balance Between Career and Family

Published by Cel Manero from Global One Media, Inc.

LUKE BRYAN: “I Simply Love This. I Didn’t Choose to Be Born for It, But I Believe It’s My True Calling.”

Luke Bryan’s journey in the music industry is marked by an impressive array of achievements, including thirty No. 1 songs, a successful television show, five Entertainer of the Year awards, a record-breaking Las Vegas residency, over 14 million concert tickets sold, and a staggering 22 billion streams. These accomplishments represent the culmination of decades of hard work and dedication.

Bryan, known for his amiable and compassionate nature, is a devoted father and husband who originally moved from his home state of Georgia to Nashville, driven by his passion for country music. Within a relatively short span of six years, he achieved his first taste of success by co-writing “Good Directions” for Billy Currington. Although his debut album, “I’ll Stay Me,” was released in 2007, Bryan secured his first No. 1 as an artist with “Do I” in 2009.

Reflecting on his decision to move to Nashville, Bryan shared, “When I moved to Nashville, I moved for all the right reasons – simply because I loved country music and being on stage. From the moment I arrived, it felt like I had finally found my rightful place. I never looked back. To kickstart the process and to dream of writing and performing chart-toppers from then to now, it’s overwhelming to comprehend.”

After concluding a two-year Las Vegas residency at Resorts World, Luke Bryan is set to return as a judge on “American Idol” alongside Lionel Richie and Katy Perry on February 18.

Admitting that being on television was an adjustment for him, Bryan expressed his comfort with the role now. He reflected on his initial year on “American Idol,” acknowledging the need to adapt to various aspects. However, he has since grown at ease with the show, including TV appearances, commercials, and even engaging in some lighthearted acting. Bryan also shared his comfort in expressing emotions on television. Despite this, he confessed to ongoing anxiety about concert attendance, although the touring numbers for 2023 have exceeded expectations, showing a 20-30 percent improvement.

Despite becoming one of the most successful artists in country music history, Bryan’s ascent to stardom was neither smooth nor guaranteed. His debut single, “All My Friends Say,” reached the Top 5 on country radio. However, his confidence in the success of the 2007 follow-up, “We Rode In Trucks,” was met with disappointment as the song peaked at No. 35 on the charts.

Luke Bryan opened up about facing one of the darkest periods in his career after the disappointment with his second single, “We Rode In Trucks,” which he believed would catapult his success. Expressing his frustration, he recalled, “It was probably the darkest artist headspace I’ve ever been in because I thought ‘We Rode In Trucks’ was going to propel my career onto a fast track. I was pretty upset about it.”

Despite the setback, his third single, “Country Man,” achieved Top 10 status. However, when he presented the next set of songs to the record label, they faced rejection. Bryan reminisced about receiving a series of bad news while on his tour bus, acknowledging his sour mood. He reflected on a turning point where he told himself not to dwell on negativity. While admitting to occasional down days and moments of frustration, he emphasized his deep love for his craft, saying, “I didn’t ask to be born to do it, but I think I was born to do it.”

The turning point in Bryan’s career came with his first No. 1 song, “Do I,” marking the beginning of a string of chart-toppers. Recently, Nashville’s country music community came together to celebrate Luke Bryan’s achievement of 30 No. 1 hits. The evening featured performances by Bryan’s idols and friends, including Lady A’s Dave Haywood and Hillary Scott, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Marty Raybon of Shenandoah, and more.

Luke Bryan co-wrote “Do I” with Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley of Lady A, and Hillary Scott contributed background vocals to the song.

During the celebration of Bryan’s 30 No. 1 hits, Scott expressed gratitude, saying, “Luke, we love you. Thank you for years of friendship and letting me sing harmony on your first No. 1 song.”

In a tongue-in-cheek manner, Dierks Bentley playfully teased Bryan with a comedic roast. Bentley humorously suggested that Bryan’s achievement of 30 No. 1 songs puts him in the company of country legends like George Strait, Ronnie Milsap, and Conway Twitty. Bentley jokingly implied that he’s still young with “only” 22 No. 1 songs, making a lighthearted remark about the potential consequences if he were to make the same comments as Bryan. He quipped, “Luke can say (stuff) that if I said, I’d get arrested on the spot. If I said some of the stuff he said, I’d probably lose my record deal. Based on how slow my current single is going, maybe I already have. That was funny.”

Continuing the light-hearted banter, Dierks Bentley playfully announced that he would perform “Play It Again” in “a man’s key” (G) because he can’t reach the high notes that Luke Bryan effortlessly hits. To add to the humor, Bentley comically struggled to recall many of the song’s lyrics.

Luke Bryan’s impressive list of chart-toppers includes hits like “Drunk On You,” “Crash My Party,” “Drink A Beer,” “Most People Are Good,” “Down To One,” and more.

Cindy Mabe, Chair and CEO of Universal Music Group Nashville, commended Bryan’s remarkable achievement of recording 30 No. 1 songs, acknowledging that few artists will ever reach such a milestone. She emphasized Bryan’s transformative impact on country music, attributing it to his heartfelt contributions, lifestyle, musical influence, powerful charisma, and signature stage presence. Mabe noted that Bryan’s ability to stay true to himself and represent his values is evident in each of his No. 1 songs. She concluded by highlighting Bryan’s gift of teaching audiences to cherish life and every moment, even amidst challenges, as one never knows when it might be their last.

Luke Bryan referred to his latest Top 5 hit, “But I Got A Beer In My Hand,” as “fun,” using an adjective he hadn’t associated with one of his songs in a while.

Expressing his perspective, Bryan shared, “I felt like I hadn’t done a fun Luke Bryan song in a minute. This was just fun, and it was summertime. There’s been a lot of beer songs out lately, and I’m sure people want to critique that. But it just felt like a song that really said what I wanted to say this summer. It’s been fun watching it catch fire and grow legs live and watching people hold their beer up when they’re singing.”

With sons aged 13 and 15, and a 22-year-old nephew, Luke Bryan aims to strike a balance in his songs, ensuring a mix of light-heartedness and maturity to resonate with various age groups.

Reflecting on his role as an artist, Bryan expressed gratitude for the opportunity to have a meaningful impact throughout his career. He acknowledged feeling grounded and emphasized the importance of delivering songs that hold depth while still appealing to younger audiences. Despite his lengthy tenure in the business, Bryan feels blessed to maintain a significant role and cherishes the moments on stage, where he continues to love connecting with fans and appreciating the power of great songs.