As a four-time Entertainer of the Year for the Country Music Association (twice) and the Academy of Country Music, (twice) Luke Bryan has achieved a rare place in the business, garnering the admiration of both his peers and the public. The industry voters for the Nashville-based CMA recognized him as one of the music industry’s few talents capable of filling a stadium on a regular basis. The fans, who pick the California-based ACM’s Entertainer, view him as a talented, good-natured guy who – when they see him at those stadium dates – is still one of them.
Solid is the perfect word to describe Bryan’s remarkably swift ascent to the top of the country heap. He’s placed 16 singles in the No. 1 spot, sold 8 million albums, 30 million tracks and accrued back-to-back double-platinum albums, earning the title of Top Country Artist in the sales-generated Billboard Music Awards two years in a row. He performed for 1.7 million fans in 2014 and 1.5 million in 2015, sold out eleven football stadiums and has co-hosted the ACM Awards four times. He debuted his now Platinum selling Kill The Lights at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 and top Country Albums Charts, going on to become the best-selling country album of 2015 and the 10th biggest selling album on the all-genre Billboard Top 200 year-end list.
Bryan is – like the digital generation of fans that comes out to see him – a fan of all sorts of music. That he’s learned how to incorporate everything from ‘80s Alabama to ‘90s Metallica to 21st-century Maroon 5 into his influences is one of the things that’s connected him to that audience. He’s one of them, and he’s enormously grateful that his music resonates with them. That’s a big reason why Luke Bryan is a box-office king.
“When I walk off the stage, I want to know I gave them my best,” Bryan says. “I feel like the people deserve that.”
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Check out our favourite Luke Bryan songs on our Spotify playlist