Luke Bryan looks to three-peat after blockbuster 2016

Editors note: This is part of a series of stories highlighting the nominees for Entertainer of the Year at the CMA's 50th Awards show on Nov. 2. Whether you’re at a barbecue at his house, standing in a field on his Farm Tour, or one of 50,000 fans at his headlining stadium concerts, Luke Bryan has the same goal: He wants you to have a good time.“I grew up in an environment where my family hosted people for dinner all the time, and we just loved watching people have fun,” Bryan says. “My calling in life was to try and grow that. I still truly enjoy watching the fans out there having the time of their lives. It’s a pretty spiritual situation.”By the end of his current tour, Bryan will have had a bird’s eye view of 1.6 million fans in 2016. By time the singer’s nine-month Kill the Lights Tour concludes in Detroit next week,it will have included six stadiums and an array of two-night runs at expansive arenas and amphitheaters across the country. This fall, Bryan took a brief break from the slick, big-city venues to criss-cross rural America on a seven-city Farm Tour. The eighth annual run drew 105,000 fans and funded 50 college scholarships for students from farming families within the communities the tour reached.The Georgia native is going for a three-peat win of the coveted Entertainer of the Year at the 50th CMA Awards, which will air 7 p.m. Nov. 2 on ABC. Bryan won the Country Music Association’s top prize in 2014 and 2015.“Nobody is this successful by accident,” says Chuck Aly, vice president and general manager of Country Aircheck. “He’s worked so hard at it. This is really a testament to work ethic because his smile comes so easy and he is so personable. He’s the guy to root for.”Along with his charisma and catchy songs, it is Bryan’s warmth that draws fans in. Earlier this week, the “Move” singer relaxed on the leather sofa Continue Reading

Luke Bryan joins Blake Shelton’s ‘Voice’ team

For the last 11 seasons on NBC’s “The Voice,” Blake Shelton has made a habit of putting country music front and center. In season 12, Luke Bryan will help him do it.Monday the reality singing competition announced that Bryan will be Shelton’s team’s mentor, guiding his singers through the all-important battle rounds where they compete against each other to keep a spot on Shelton’s team. Shelton couples his team members with each other and selects the song they will sing — often a classic or contemporarycountry tune. Then Bryan spends a couple of days in rehearsals with Shelton and his 12 contestants to offer the singers guidance on everything from stage presence to song arrangements and staying on pitch.Bryan’s episodes were taped in Los Angeles last week.“I enjoy being in the moment with those artists and in my gut feeling, tell them the best thing I can tell them and really lift them up,” said Bryan who will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl LI on Feb. 5. “I think I get lost in the shuffle in the media of the guy who dances on stage. I think people don’t realize that I moved to town, wrote songs and got a record deal. Early in my career, I was so nervous about big moments, I didn’t even enjoy them. I just want to help these people settle into who they are and enjoy the moment.”Shelton had asked Bryan, with whom he formerly co-hosted the Academy of Country Music Awards, to be his team’s mentor numerous times. In previous years, “The Voice” filmed battle rounds during Bryan’s Crash My Playa, his four-day country music event Riviera Maya, Mexico. This year scheduling was rearranged and not only could Bryan serve as Shelton’s mentor, but Shelton headlined one of the Crash My Playa concerts for Bryan."Once he realized he was getting wrapped up in it, Luke was showing them dance moves and things to do," Shelton Continue Reading

CMA Music Festival: 5 Moments you missed like Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan

CMA Music Festival's nightly concerts at Nissan Stadium were full of surprises Thursday night — ranging from country music's top-selling artist Garth Brooks to the genre's newest award winner Lauren Alaina.Here are five things you missed:Garth Brooks just made one of his famous surprise CMA Music Festival appearances, walking on stage at Nissan Stadium and kicking off his unannounced set with Thunder Rolls.Brooks moved into Calling Baton Rouge and The River. He followed up with new single Ask Me How I Know, asking fans to help him sing it.In a ball cap and strumming his acoustic guitar, Brooks worked the stage during That Summer and went straight into The Dance as fans lit up the stadium with their cell phones. Brooks paused and let fans sing the last word, then flowed into Friends in Low Places, pacing the front of the stage during the set.While it has been close to 27 years since Friends in Low Places was released, country music fans haven't forgotten the song that helped propel Brooks to super stardom. The crowd, more than 50,000 strong, came in loud on the first word and sang with Brooks, through the last chorus. The Country Music Association's current Entertainer of the Year let them finish it out, a wide smile stretching across his face."That’s Nashville, home of country music!" Brooks excitedly bellowed. "YEAH!!!," he screamed as fans cheered wildly. "Are you kidding me?"With a final wave, Brooks ran off the stage.Luke Bryan just thought he was playing Thursday night at CMA Music Festival. By the time he made it on stage, it was the wee hours of Friday morning.Bryan injected some much-needed energy into the night, showing limitless enthusiasm for hitting the stage an hour after his headlining arena shows are typically finished.“It’s morning time,” he shouted to fans. “Are you all ready to get us into the morning?”Bryan wasted no time breaking out his Continue Reading

Luke Bryan returns to Summerfest on June 29

Luke Bryan sang the Star-Spangled Banner at Super Bowl LI Sunday night, and on Monday morning, Summerfest officials announced the country superstar will return to the Big Gig.The Brothers Osborne will open for Bryan for Summerfest’s 50th on June 29, at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater, formerly known as the Marcus Amphitheater.Last month, Madison-based American Family Insurance announced a 10-year presenting sponsor agreement for an undisclosed amount, which will include a new 23,000-capacity amphitheater, to also be called the American Family Insurance Amphitheater, that will tentatively replace the current venue in 2020.Bryan, one of country's biggest live acts and a two-time Entertainer of the Year CMA Award winner, has performed at multiple Wisconsin festivals each summer since 2013, including sold-out Summerfest shows in 2013, 2014 and 2016. Until Monday, he had only been confirmed this summer for Country Jam USA in Eau Claire. Bryan was one of the Journal Sentinel’s predictions for Big Gig headliners this year.Ticket prices have yet to be announced for Bryan’s show, but tickets will include Summerfest general admission on June 29. They’re available beginning at 10 a.m. Feb. 17 at the box office (200 N. Harbor Drive); Ticketmaster retail centers; area Walmart stores; at; or by calling (800) 745-3000, (866) 448-7849 or (414) 273-2600.Bryan is the sixth amphitheater booking confirmed so far. The Red Hot Chili Peppers play Summerfest opening night June 28, followed by Zac Brown Band July 1, P!nk July 2, and two shows with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (with Chris Stapleton opening) July 5 and 6.Summerfest’s 50th runs June 28 to July 2 and July 4 to 9. Continue Reading

Country star Luke Bryan is throwing a show on an Iowa farm

Strap on the boots, country fans. Hitmaker Luke Bryan is bringing his celebrated Farm Tour to the Hawkeye state. Set to take place on Sept. 30, Bryan and his band are slated to perform on what his website describes as the Ziel farm in rural Boone. Tickets go on sale June 2, costing $45 in advance and $60 on the day of the show. A parking pass for the show runs $5 and tailgating kicks off at 2 p.m. on show day. Capitol Records' own Jon Pardi is slated to open the show. Boone is located roughly 45 miles north of Des Moines. Now in its ninth year, the Luke Bryan Farm Tour brings the "Play It Again" singer to rural America for a handful of shows every fall. Six dates are included in this year's Farm Tour, including stops in Missouri, Nebraska, Illinois, Kansas and Indiana. According to a Rolling Stone article, a portion of the Farm Tour proceeds are used to create college scholarships for farming families. Some need-to-know facts for the show, according to  No outside food or drink allowed.  No glass allowed in tailgate area.  No re-entry.  Chairs and blankets are allowed inside the concert in designated arenas.  No camping.  Food and drink will be sold in the concert area.  ATMs will be available inside the concert area.  More: Country, classic rock lead Iowa State Fair free stages lineup Bryan is an award-winning country singer who's known for delivering fan-favorite numbers such as "Country Girl," "That's My Kind of Night," "Strip It Down" and "Country Girl." His latest studio record, "Kill The Lights," was released in August 2015. The album debuted a No. 1 on the Billboard 200. He's performed in Iowa a number of times in the past including at Burlington Steamboat Days, the now defunct People's Court in Des Moines, the Great Jones County Fair and at the Iowa State Fair. In 2016, Bryan released an EP, "Farm Tour … Here's to the Farmer," Continue Reading

Miranda Lambert, Eric Church, Luke Bryan lead CMT Music Awards nominations with four each

Eric Church, Luke Bryan and Miranda Lambert are the lead nominees for this year's CMT Music Awards. The trio of country music's newest stars are nominated for the top honor, video of the year, along with nine others. The show airs live June 5 on CMT from Nashville, Tenn. Jason Aldean and Kristen Bell host. Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts and first-time nominees Florida Georgia Line have three nominations each. Nine others have two nominations apiece, including Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood. A news release says fan voting is open at the network's website until June 2. Six finalists for video of the year will be announced at the top of the show, and fans will choose a winner during the broadcast. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

CMT Music Awards: Carrie Underwood takes third video of the year win; Luke Bryan nabs surprise of night

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena is turning into quite a memorable place for Carrie Underwood and her hunky husband, NHL star Mike Fisher. Underwood won her third video of the year award at the CMT Music Awards on Wednesday night, carving yet another great memory out for the couple in the home of the NHL’s Nashville Predators. PHOTOS: CMT MUSIC AWARDS 2012 RED CARPET LOOKS Underwood’s two wins — she also won for collaboration of the year for “Remind Me,” with Brad Paisley — mean she’s now won nine CMT belt buckles since 2006, including video of the year awards. That matches Taylor Swift’s run in that fan-voted category over the same period. The former “American Idol” winner was the night’s only multiple winner. Luke Bryan pulled off the surprise of the night, taking male video of the year for “I Don’t Want This Night to End.” After beating out country’s top male stars, Bryan rewarded his fans by tossing a pair of boxers into the crowd. It was far from the raciest moment of the night. Kellie Pickler pretended to motorboat an imaginary pair of breasts to introduce Little Big Town’s performance of “Pontoon,” complete with a full-sized pontoon boat and bikini-clad “swimmers” floating around the stage. And co-host Kristen Bell made sure to spend a little quality time in the stands, sandwiching herself between Bryan and Jake Owen. “I didn’t know I’d be sitting right in the middle of Hunksville, Tenn., population — two,” the actress joked. As for the official business of the night, the rest pretty much held true to current award show trends. Upon hearing their names in the collaboration category, Paisley leaped to his feet and wrapped his arms around Underwood’s husband in a long embrace that got the laughs started. Miranda Lambert won her third straight Continue Reading

Country Thunder Arizona 2018 brings Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Toby Keith, Cole Swindell

Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Toby Keith and Cole Swindell will headline Country Thunder Arizona in Florence the weekend of April 5-8.Also announced were Brett Young, Tracy Lawrence, Big & Rich, Lindsay Ell, Cody Johnson, Neal McCoy, Lukas Nelson, Bryan White, Michael Ray and Michael Tyler.“We are so proud to create the ultimate festival experience for our fans in Arizona,” says Country Thunder Music Festivals CEO Troy Vollhoffer. “We are incredibly excited to announce this dream lineup.”The announcement comes the morning after Bryan played Ak-Chin Pavilion as part of his Huntin' and Fishin' and Lovin' Every Day Tour. Bryan’s latest album, "Kill the Lights," topped Billboard's country charts, his third consecutive release to do so, on its way to going double platinum.By the time he gets to Florence, he’ll have dropped the long-awaited followup, “What Makes You Country.”Bryan’s hits include country chart-toppers "Rain Is a Good Thing," "Someone Else Calling You Baby," "I Don't Want This Night to End," "Drunk on You," "That's My Kind of Night," "Drink a Beer," "Play It Again," "I See You,” “Kick the Dust Up” and “Strip It Down.”Aldean’s fourth album, “My Kinda Party,” established him at the forefront of the modern-country vanguard. The biggest-selling country album of 2011, “Party” sent three singles, led by the quadruple-platinum “Dirt Road Anthem,” to the top of Billboard’s country charts and took home album of the year at that year’s CMAs.Subsequent hits include “Tattoos on This Town,” “Fly Over States,” “Take a Little Ride,” “The Only Way I Know,” “Night Train,” “When She Says Baby” and “Burnin’ It Down,” all of which have gone at least platinum. Last year’s “They Don’t Know” became his fourth Continue Reading

Justin Bieber and James Corden gush over Luke Bryan at CMT Awards (VIDEO)

Justin Bieber and James Corden gave fans another taste of their hit carpool karaoke bit on the Country Music Awards. The pop star and the "Late Late Show" host reunited for a hilarious video on the awards show Wednesday night that had them both admitting they love country star Luke Bryan. "He's hot! I get lost in his eyes like they're pools of the ocean!" Corden says. At the end of the goofy clip, Corden crank Bryan's hit "Country Girl" and sing the lyrics together. Bryan, meanwhile, took home the Male Video of the Year award at the show. "Yea, Bieber loves me," he quipped while accepting the award. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH VIDEO HERE Continue Reading

Miranda Lambert wins big, Luke Bryan takes top prize at ACM Awards

ARLINGTON, Texas  -- Miranda Lambert won four awards, including album and song of the year, but the singer lost the night's top prize to Luke Bryan at Sunday's Academy of Country Music Awards. It was a repeat of the Country Music Association Awards in November, where Lambert won multiple prizes but lost the big award to Bryan. "Listen guys, what an amazing night of music," an excited Bryan said onstage after winning the fan-voted award. "Thank you to my wife, my kids ... my fans, country radio." Lambert was the sole female nominated for entertainer of the year; other nominees included Garth Brooks, Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line, who won two awards Sunday at the AT&T Stadium. Though she lost the top prize - again - Lambert was the queen of the night. She was on a red-hot winning streak - and she even rocked a red-hot bustier when she performed "Little Red Wagon." Lambert won her fourth album of the year, her sixth female vocalist of the year and her third single record of the year (she won twice this year as a performer and songwriter of "Automatic.") "I don't even realize what's happening tonight," Lambert said. "I love my job so much. I will never not love my job." Lambert, a fashion favorite in the last year, wowed again in a flowing, plunging dress on the red carpet. Inside the venue, she wore white pants and a white top with a black sheer center. She also accepted the 50th Anniversary Milestone Award, given to her by Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara (Lambert wrote a song for their new film, "Hot Pursuit.") It was also a memorable night for Taylor Swift, who made it a family affair. The singer was one of seven recipients of the Milestone Award, and a video package highlighting her career and success played before her mother, who recently announced she is battling cancer, presented her daughter with the award. "I am a very proud mom," said Andrea Swift, who Continue Reading