Luke Bryan Explains His Instant Connection To New Single, ‘Love You, Miss You, Mean It’

Bryan’s new single tells a story that many can relate to, including the country star himself.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

April 5, 2024


10:48 am

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Luke Bryan; Photo by Jim Wright

Today, Luke Bryan unleashes his highly anticipated new single, “Love You, Miss You, Mean It,” a heartfelt tune about young love that showcases a softer, more tender side of the country star. 

Bryan Connected With The Song Instantly

Hearing the song penned by Rhett Akins, Ben Hayslip, Jordan Minton, and Jacob Rice was a love-at-first-listen kind of moment for Bryan. Not only did the song appeal to him as something his fans would immediately embrace, but its story closely reflects his real-life love story with his wife, Caroline, creating an immediate connection to the lyrics.

“I think that the title ‘Love You Miss You Mean It’ is so identifiable. Then the story, I mean, how many people have had the high school sweetheart that they broke up with and wound up living the story of getting back together? I think the song just spoke to me on all those levels,” Bryan recently told Country Now and other outlets. “The song just felt right, it felt good, and it felt that way from the first listen. It just felt like it had all the elements of a big hit song. Then you got to go in and record it and the rest is history and here we are staring down the barrel of the next single.”

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The Story Behind “Love You, Miss You, Mean It”

“Love You, Miss You, Mean It,” illustrates the story of two high school seniors whose relationship becomes rocky once one moves away to college, leaving them separated by “two hundred miles.” Bryan begins by depicting that first goodbye, when their love was still strong, and they believed nothing could get in the way of their bond. However, as the next verse approaches, it becomes evident that the distance did in fact start to take a toll on their relationship.

Even though the couple goes their separate ways for a few years, the lyrics reveal that there was still a bit of that love lingering and late one night, their history is resurrected and restored.

“Years went by, pages got turned/ But I never did forget about her/ Late one night, out of the blue/ My phone lit up and my heart did too/ She said, I don’t know about you but I,” Luke sings before belting out the final chorus.

His warm vocals are filled with hope and a great desire to reconnect with his other half while steady drum beats echo in the background alongside the accompaniment of crisp guitar riffs. 

“Love you, miss you, mean it/ I still see you when I’m dreaming/ I just wanna feel you hold me again/ And I’ve been counting down the minutes/ I’ll keep climbing up these walls/ Your kiss, I want it, need it/ Love you, miss you, mean it, baby.”

An Unintentional Throwback Sound

Sonically, this track is a bit reminiscent of some of Bryan’s earliest releases, which is something that wasn’t intentional. Bryan says it just sort of happened that way.

“I’m not thinking about this when I’m ingesting the song. I’m just loving it for what it is, but then we go record it and everybody’s like, ‘oh my God, this kind of sounds like vintage throwback Luke stuff.’ And I’m like, well, I didn’t realize that, but it kind of does.”

Luke Bryan and Wife, Caroline; Photo Courtesy CMA
Luke Bryan and Wife, Caroline; Photo Courtesy CMA

His Love Story Mirrors The Song’s Narrative

Bryan and his wife weren’t high school sweethearts, their journey together is a similar story as their love formed a few years later when they were both attending Georgia Southern University. They first met in 1998 at a local Georgia bar and went from just friends to dating in a short time. However, their relationship eventually came to an end as they both went on to pursue different paths in life. 

Over the years, the pair kept in touch, and one night, Caroline found herself in a bar where Bryan happened to be playing. This led to a rekindling of their romance and on December 8, 2006, they said “I Do” in Turks and Caicos. Now they are raising five children together, Thomas Boyer (“Bo”) Bryan and Tatum (“Tate”) Christopher Bryan, along with Bryan’s two nieces, Jordan and Kris, and his nephew, Til, who they adopted after several family tragedies. 

What Does Caroline Think Of The Song?

As a result of its connection to their lives, Bryan says that Caroline “really, really likes” the song, however, it appears that there is another unreleased song she has been advocating for as well, and she hopes to see it make its debut on country radio soon.

I can almost say the song that she loves probably will be my next single…For the longest time, the one that she loved was the one I wanted to lead with, but I think she likes the song. A lot of it mimics our path and our relationship. She’s excited about it.”

Luke Bryan - “Love You, Miss You, Mean It,”
Luke Bryan – “Love You, Miss You, Mean It,”

The Cover Art Explained

The cover art for “Love You, Miss You, Mean It” was shot during an impromptu photoshoot that occurred backstage at the Houston Rodeo. The American Idol judge can be seen sitting in what looks to be an old theater seat with a blurred background, which he reveals was a set of original seats from the Astrodome complex that now live in a busy hallway area. 

“I was at the Houston Rodeo and I didn’t really have any cover art that I liked. And we knew we wanted it to be a photo of me…so my guy that does all of my social stuff and videos, all my concerts, we call him Eder, he’s at the Houston Rodeo, and he brought a nice camera. We were backstage and the original seats out of the Astrodome were in the hallway there, so I just sat in one of the Astrodome seats…I did my own makeup for that one,” he joked. “I did my own hair and makeup, and Eder [Acevedo] did about a 10-minute photo shoot. In my mind, I’m like, there’s people actively walking behind me, and I mean, we’re backstage, there’s people everywhere. So we had to kind of blur them out, but the photo turned out to work.”

This was the final piece of the puzzle needed to make his new release complete and ready for distribution.

Luke Bryan; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Luke Bryan; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Why Bringing Rising Stars On The Road Is Important To Him

In less than two weeks, Luke Bryan will embark on his 2024 headline Mind of a Country Boy Tour. This trek begins on April 17 in Calgary, AB, and continues with dates throughout Canada and the U.S. 

The five-time Entertainer of the Year will continue his mission of offering emerging artists the chance to showcase their talent on the big stage. His run will feature Tenille Arts, Chayce Beckham, George Birge, King Calaway, Dillon Carmichael, Larry Fleet, HunterGirl, Ella Langley, Tracy Lawrence, Kameron Marlowe, Chase Matthew. Each of these opening acts will vary by city. 

“I never will forget…maybe ‘All My Friends Say’ had just come out and I got to open for Brooks & Dunn in Pittsburgh. I didn’t sleep the whole night. The fact that I can kind of reciprocate and pay it forward to some of these new acts is pretty special stuff and had a blast doing it last year and this year it’ll be the same thing,” he shared of the upcoming tour.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.