Luke Bryan Gets Candid About His Journey To Stardom And His Passion For The Stage

“I’m proud of my climb to get here,” the superstar shares.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

August 9, 2023


12:07 pm

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Luke Bryan performs at Nissan Stadium on Sunday, June 11 during CMA Fest 2023 in downtown Nashville; Photo Courtesy CMA

Luke Bryan is known for bringing the party everywhere he goes, and that is something that he’s strived to do even from the start of his performing days. It’s his genuine spirit and love for the Country genre that has kept him in the game and led him to an incredibly successful career. However, it also took plenty of hard work and sacrifice to get where he is today and for that, Bryan is proud of his journey.

Like many aspiring artists, Bryan had dreams of moving out of his hometown and into Nashville as soon as possible, ready to share his name in the honky tonks of Broadway. Unfortunately, Bryan put a pin in his plans when his older brother Chris passed away from a car accident at just 26 years old. As a result, he decided to stay back in Leesburg, GA to be with his family and in that time, he graduated from Georgia Southern University and met his other half, Caroline

Reflects On His Musical Journey

Luke Bryan, People Cover; Photo by Jim Wright
Luke Bryan, People Cover; Photo by Jim Wright

When Bryan finally got the opportunity to become a resident of the famed Music City at 25 years old, he released his debut single “All My Friends Say” and started to see movement in his career. Even though he experienced a few bumps in the road before landing in Nashville, Bryan admits getting a later start in his plans may have been for the best. 

“I think at 20 I would’ve processed it all a lot differently, with a lot less maturity,” Bryan tells PEOPLE in a new cover story. “When I moved to Nashville when I was 25, I could read people better. I could navigate the shady crowd. It helped me a lot in those aspects.”

He went on to say that this extra time gave him the chance to really hone in on his skills and discover his own unique sound.

“I’m Proud Of My Climb To Get Here”

“When I was younger, I wouldn’t have really known who I was as an artist. Back then I was just singing other people’s songs and trying to figure out what I want to be,” he says. “Now I know the main thing is to do your best to tell your story in the most authentic and relatable way. I can’t go back and question any of the stars or fate at how it all shaped out. I look back, and I’m proud of my climb to get here.”

Now that the “Play It Again” singer has checked off many items on his personal and professional bucket list, his current goal is to just continue releasing music that he believes people want to hear.  

“I feel like that my music, historically, will always put smiles on people’s faces and continue to try to make people happy and smile to come together,” he shared honestly. “I really just love being out here and watching people have fun.”

Luke Bryan; Photo by Eder Acevedo
Luke Bryan; Photo by Eder Acevedo

Born To Entertain

The five-time Entertainer Of The Year is currently in the midst of his headlining Country On Tour, which kicked off on June 15 in Syracuse, New York. The trek, which runs through October 28, will visit 36 cities across the United States with stops in Philadelphia, Nashville, Charlotte, and more.

Each night when he gets on stage, Bryan gives it his all while being his most authentic self. Even though there may be tens of thousands of fans in the audience, he strives to make every single person feel as though they’re important to him. 

“It’s not an act,” he says of performing. “I’m in the moment, I’m having fun, and I’m feeding off fans’ energy. I love to make people smile. That’s why I fell in love with music”

“For most of my career I went up there going, I got to prove myself. So it’s really liberating and gratifying to just go, I am what I am,” Bryan continued. “I earned it the old-fashioned way: working my butt off. A lot of people have propped me up and helped me along the way, and I hope they can enjoy the ride too.”

New Music

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Luckily, it seems that Luke Bryan has no intention of slowing down anytime soon. In fact, he shared that he’s currently working on his next project, which will serve as a follow-up to his 2020 LP, Born Here Live Here Die Here. Plus, he’s slated to reclaim his role as a judge on the 2024 season of American Idol.

 “The day you quit loving it, it’s time to move on. Thankfully I’ve never had those feelings. It’s pretty hard for being in front of 20,000 people to get old.”

On Tour

Bryan is next slated to bring his Country On Tour to the Walmart AMP in Rogers, AR on August 10 and Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on August 12. He last played the esteemed Music City venue in 2021 and it marked the fifth consecutive time Bryan has sold-out Bridgestone Arena with two back-to-back sold-out dates in both 2013 and 2017.

Luke Bryan; Photo by Ethan Helms
Luke Bryan; Photo by Ethan Helms

Then later this year, Luke Bryan will take to the road for his 14th annual Farm Tour, which is set to run from September 14 through September 23. The trek will find Bryan visiting five farms, including Mulberry Orchard (Shelbyville, KY), Miller Family Farm (Millersport, OH), Schnell Family Farms (Colfax, IA), Klondike Farms (Brooklyn, WI) and Gar-Lin Dairy LLC (Eyota, MN).

Las Vegas Residency

In between those runs, he will also return to Resorts World Theatre inside Resorts World Las Vegas for his record-breaking headlining engagement, Luke Bryan: VEGAS. The country star recently announced that his Sin City shows will come to a close with newly-added dates in December and January 2024. 

Tickets for his new and final dates, including a must-see performance on New Year’s Eve, will go on sale to the public Friday, Aug. 18, 2023, at 10 a.m. PST. 

Luke Bryan; Photo Courtesy of John Shearer/Getty Images
Luke Bryan; Photo Courtesy of John Shearer/Getty Images

Six new Luke Bryan: VEGAS dates:

  • December: 29, 30, 31
  • January: 3, 5, 6 

Previously announced dates: 

  • August 2023: 30
  • September 2023: 2, 3, 6, 8-9 

Additional information about Bryan’s upcoming tour dates can be found HERE.

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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.