Luke Bryan Thanks Blake Shelton For Encouraging Him To Join ‘American Idol’

Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton may be television rivals, with Bryan on American Idol and Shelton on The Voice, but…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

January 18, 2021


9:24 am

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Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton; Photo by Trae Patton, NBC

Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton may be television rivals, with Bryan on American Idol and Shelton on The Voice, but that hasn’t changed their friendship one bit. In fact, during Shelton’s recent appearance on Bryan’s Apple Music show, Party Barn Radio, the pair bonded over their spots on the popular singing competition shows. 

“Nothing is more fun than being in the room when a star is born. I mean, you got to go through hundreds of people to find that star,” Bryan acknowledged, as he went on to recall the moment he first heard Idol alum Gabby Barrett sing. “It’s just like when Gabby Barrett walked into American Idol, she didn’t win American Idol, but even I just said, there was just something magical about that… I know you’ve seen that stuff too, and that’s what brings you back.”

“We inadvertently compete against each other… But telling the stories of the kids and me sitting up there, I remember when I took the role of Idol, I’m like, ‘Man, there, ain’t no way I’m going to be boohooing and crying and emotional,’ but it is emotional and it is amazing to watch kids put their life on the line,” Bryan continued. 

Shelton compared the shows’ audition processes and explained how the contestants’ experiences differ. 

“I’ve always said that the tough parts of our jobs are in two different timelines, because what you guys do with the audition process, you’re literally out there hitting the streets,” Shelton shared. “People coming in with a number taped on their back or chest or whatever, and they’re just as raw as they could possibly be. Where on The Voice, by the time they get through the audition process to make it onto the blind auditions, they’re a little more prepared for that moment because of what they go through just to get to that part.”

Bryan said that being on American Idol has been an “amazing ride” and expressed his gratitude to Shelton for advising him to be a part of the show. 

“You said, ‘Do it.’ I said, ‘Heck yeah, I’m going to do it.’ Man, it was like you told me. It certainly opens your eyes, opens your world up to stuff you never can imagine,” Bryan told him, adding, “Thank you for that.”

Luke Bryan will return for his fourth season on American Idol this year. The season premiere airs Sunday, February 14 at 8/7c on ABC. 

Blake Shelton recently wrapped his 19th season on The Voice

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.