Luke Bryan Shares Hometown Highlights With Fellow American Idol Judges

The country superstar returned to his hometown of Leesburg, GA with Katy Perry and Lionel Richie in tow.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

January 29, 2024

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Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie; Photo Courtesy American Idol, ABC/Eric McCandless

Luke Bryan brought his fellow American Idol judges, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, back to his hometown of Leesburg, Georgia to give them a taste of his roots. While fans will get to see more of their adventures during the upcoming season of Idol, Bryan shared a sneak peek in one of his latest Instagram posts.

Bryan Returns To His Hometown of Leesburg, GA

“There is so much to love about Leesburg, Georgia. I’m here to tell you what some of my favorite things are about my hometown,” he wrote in the caption. 

The compilation clip finds the country star listing out the Top 5 things he loves about his hometown. The Idol judges start out by posing in front of the sign leading into town that reads, “Welcome to the city of Leesburg, Home of Luke Bryan, Buster Posey, Carly Mathis, Phillip Phillips.” 

Luke Bryan Visits Leesburg, GA with Katy Perry and Lionel Richie; Photo Courtesy Of Instagram
Luke Bryan Visits Leesburg, GA with Katy Perry and Lionel Richie; Photo Courtesy Of Instagram

Reveals His Favorite Things About Leesburg

Then Georgia native goes down his list, naming the people of his community as No. 1 and all the farmland including “the places I grew up going hunting and fishing” as No. 2. When he got to No. 3, he said, “The Flint River,” and included a clip of Perry and Richie stepping out of their comfort zones as they experience a day out on his fishing boat. 

For the final two reasons on his list, the “Country On” singer said “My Dad’s Garden” and his family’s peanut mill where he “grew up and learned to work my butt off.”

“…And I learned that I got to go be a musician ‘cause this is too hard,” he added at the end of the sentimental clip.  


In the caption, Bryan also reminded fans that the 2024 season premiere of American Idol is just three weeks away. Between the country star’s recent video shared to socials and the promo for the upcoming season of the singing competition show hints heavily at the fact that viewers will get a whole new look at where this star-studded panel of judges come from. 

The Upcoming Season Of American Idol Will Highlight The Judges’ Hometowns

Seacrest confirmed this during an interview with Rolling Stone when he explained that the upcoming season will visit each of the judges’ hometowns throughout the season.

“Just like Dorothy, we all know there really is no place like home – and Idol cannot wait to share the judges’ special hometowns with our viewers – and show off the talent from each of the places they call home,” he shared in anticipation. 

American Idol 2024; Photo Courtesy Disney, ABC
American Idol 2024; Photo Courtesy Disney, ABC

The Wizard Of Oz-themed promo video was unveiled on Dec. 31 and finds the trio of judges plus Seacrest stepping into the roles of the four main characters in the classic 1939 film. Perry appears first in her baby blue dress and iconic red slippers as the character Dorothy, while Bryan plays the Scarecrow, Richie plays the Lion and Seacrest plays the Tin Man.

After picking up the golden ticket laid at her feet, Perry, along with her fellow superstars, quickly come to realize they are no longer in their hometowns. Bryan then encourages the group to “get a move on” as they begin their journey down the coveted “Golden Ticket Road” to find a new group of talented singer/songwriters who each share the same dream of becoming the next American Idol. 

Along the way, they made stops in the hometowns of several past Idol finalists who have gone on to see tremendous success as a result of the show including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Iam Tongi, and Adam Lambert.

See The Promo

YouTube video

At the very end of the video, Perry clicks the heels of her ruby red slippers together just as her character does in the film, and opens the golden gates to Emerald City, or in this case, Hollywood.

“There’s no place like ‘American Idol,’” Perry said before turning to follow the group down the remainder of the golden path.

When Does American Idol Return?

The 2024 season premiere of American Idol is set to air on ABC on Sunday, February 18, and will also be available for streaming via Hulu. This marks the 22nd run of Idol in total and seven seasons on ABC. 

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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.