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Luke Bryan (born July 17, 1976) is an American country music singer and songwriter. Bryan began his musical career in the mid-2000s, writing songs for his longtime friends from high school, performers Travis Tritt and Billy Currington and releasing his first spring break album. After signing with Capitol Nashville in Nashville, Tennessee in 2007 with his cousin, Chad Christopher Boyd, he released the album I'll Stay Me, which included the singles "All My Friends Say", "We Rode in Trucks", and "Country Man". The follow-up album Doin' My Thing included "Do I", which Bryan co-wrote with Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum, and the #1 singles "Rain Is a Good Thing" and "Someone Else Calling You Baby".

Tailgates & Tanlines, released in 2011, includes "Country Girl (Shake It for Me)", and the number one singles "I Don't Want This Night to End", "Drunk on You", and "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye". Bryan's fourth album, Crash My Party, was released in August 2013 and includes the number one singles "Crash My Party", "That's My Kind of Night", "Drink a Beer", "Play It Again", "Roller Coaster" and "I See You". The fifth album, Kill The Lights, was released in August 2015 and its lead single, "Kick the Dust Up", became his 13th number one hit, followed by his 14th number one "Strip It Down". Bryan co-wrote all of his singles with the exception of "Drunk on You", "Crash My Party", "That's My Kind of Night", "Drink a Beer", "Play It Again", "Roller Coaster", and "Kick the Dust Up" and co-produced all four albums and one compilation album with Jeff Stevens. Bryan was the recipient of the Academy of Country Music Awards and Country Music Association Awards "Entertainer of the Year" award. To date, Bryan has sold over 7 million albums and 27 million singles worldwide.

Early life

Bryan was born in rural Leesburg, Georgia to LeClaire (née Watkins) and Tommy Bryan, a peanut farmer. Shortly before Luke was going to move to Nashville at age 19, tragedy struck his family. "My older brother, Chris, was unexpectedly killed in a ... car accident ... I'm kind of hyperventilating talking about it. ... You never truly ... move beyond it." His mother, LeClaire, had made a statement: "We knew Luke at some point would come to Nashville," his mother said. "But ... you can't leave your family, and ... I couldn't bear the thought of him being away." Instead, Luke went to college at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia where he joined the Sigma Chi fraternity and graduated in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in business administration. He made it to Nashville years later after his father told him to pack his truck to pursue a career in music. He finally gained success as a songwriter, but soon after he signed as a performer; his first big hit was "All My Friends Say". When Luke was invited to perform at the famous Grand Ole Opry, his older sister, Kelly, organized 129 people to attend his Opry debut. A few days after his performance, his sister unexpectedly died at home for unknown reasons. Bryan said the cause remains undetermined. "My only older siblings ... gone from the world, in a flash in two, two different, crazy, tragic manners, that ... we'll never know, and never understand."

Music career

2006–09: I'll Stay Me

Soon after his arrival in Nashville, Bryan joined a publishing house in the city. Among his first cuts was the title track of Travis Tritt's 2004 album My Honky Tonk History. He was later signed by Capitol Nashville to a recording contract. In the meantime, Bryan co-wrote Billy Currington's single "Good Directions", which went to number 1 on the Hot Country Songs charts in mid-2007. Bryan co-wrote his debut single, "All My Friends Say", with producer Jeff Stevens. This song reached a peak of number 5 on Hot Country Songs. In August 2007, Capitol released Bryan's debut album, I'll Stay Me. Bryan wrote or co-wrote all but one of its 11 songs. The album's second single, "We Rode in Trucks", peaked at number 33 while "Country Man" reached number 10.

2009–11: Doin' My Thing

On March 10, 2009, he released an EP titled Spring Break with All My Friends that featured two new songs, "Sorority Girls" and "Take My Drunk Ass Home," plus an acoustic version of "All My Friends Say." After this EP, he released his fourth single, "Do I" in May 2009. Bryan wrote the song with Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum, whose lead singer Hillary Scott also sings backing vocals on it. The song reached number 2 on the Hot Country Songs chart.

"Do I" was included on Bryan's second album, Doin' My Thing, which was released in October 2009. Also included on the album was a cover of OneRepublic's "Apologize". Bryan wrote the album's next two singles, "Rain Is a Good Thing" and "Someone Else Calling You Baby", with Dallas Davidson and Jeff Stevens, respectively. Both of these songs went to number 1 on the country charts. AllMusic gave this album a positive review as well, with Stephen Thomas Erlewine considering Bryan more "relaxed" in comparison to his debut. On February 26, 2010, Bryan released a second EP, titled Spring Break 2...Hangover Edition, which featured three new songs: "Wild Weekend", "Cold Beer Drinker", and "I'm Hungover". While Bryan is mainly known as a country singer, he has explored other genres like alternative music with his cover of "Apologize".

Bryan appeared on the April 18, 2010, episode of Celebrity Apprentice alongside fellow country star Emily West. The task for each team was to make-over an up-and-coming country star, with Bryan being selected by team Rocksolid, led by Bill Goldberg, and West being selected by team Tenacity, led by Cyndi Lauper. Bryan's make-over failed to impress the judges, leading to team Rocksolid losing the task. Bryan's single "Rain Is a Good Thing" and West's single "Blue Sky" were both sold on iTunes with a months worth of sales being donated to Lauper's charity, the Stonewall Community Foundation, resulting in $25,000 being raised.

2011–13: Tailgates & Tanlines

Bryan released his third EP, Spring Break 3...It's a Shore Thing, on February 25, 2011, featuring four new songs—"In Love With the Girl," "If You Ain't Here to Party," "Shore Thing," and "Love In a College Town." This release was followed by Bryan's seventh single, "Country Girl (Shake It for Me)", which was released on March 14, 2011. Also co-written by Bryan and Davidson, it served as the lead-off single to his third studio album, Tailgates & Tanlines, which was released August 9, 2011. The album peaked at number one on the Top Country Albums and number two on the Billboard 200. "Country Girl" peaked at number 4 on the country charts and number 22 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album's next three singles—"I Don't Want This Night to End", "Drunk on You", and "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye" — all reached number one on the country charts. Bryan, along with Eric Church, sang guest vocals on Jason Aldean's "The Only Way I Know," the second single from his 2012 album, Night Train.

On March 6, 2012, Bryan released his fourth Spring Break EP entitled Spring Break 4...Suntan City. Along with the title track, which Bryan co-wrote with Dallas Davidson, Rhett Akins and Ben Hayslip, the EP includes "Spring Break-Up", "Little Bit Later On", and "Shake the Sand". On January 30, 2013, Bryan announced his first compilation album, Spring Break...Here to Party, which includes fourteen songs — twelve from his previous Spring Break EPs and two new tracks. It was released on March 5. The album debuted at number 1 on both the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and the Billboard 200, becoming the first album of his career to top the all-genre album chart. One of the new Spring Break songs, "Buzzkill", reached the top 20 on the Hot Country chart.

2013–15: Crash My Party

Bryan's fourth studio album, Crash My Party, was released on August 12, 2013. The album's first single, "Crash My Party", was premiered in a performance at the 2013 ACM Awards and released on April 7, 2013. It reached number one on the Country Airplay chart in July 2013. The album's second single, "That's My Kind of Night", was released to country radio on August 5, 2013. It reached number one on the Hot Country Songs in August 2013 and peaked at 2 on the Country Airplay chart in October 2013. The album's third single, "Drink a Beer", was released to country radio on October 24, 2013. It reached number one on the Hot Country Songs chart in January 2014 and number one on the Country Airplay chart in February 2014. During the kickoff show for his 2014 That's My Kind of Night Tour in Columbus, Ohio, Bryan announced to the crowd that "Play It Again" would become the album's fourth single. This song reached number one on both the Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts in May 2014. At the same time, Bryan sang guest vocals on Florida Georgia Line's 2014 single "This Is How We Roll". On July 14, 2014, the song "Roller Coaster" was released as the album's fifth single. It reached number one on the Country Airplay chart in October 2014. The album's sixth single, "I See You", was released to country radio on November 3, 2014. It reached number one on the Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts in February 2015.

On March 11, 2014, Bryan began his sixth year of spring performances at Spinnaker Beach Club in Panama City Beach, Florida. On the same day, he also released his sixth spring break EP, Spring Break 6...Like We Ain't Ever.

Bryan is the only (current/modern) country artist to release an album of six No. 1 singles on both the Mediabase Country chart and Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart.

2015–present: Kill the Lights

On November 11, 2014, it was confirmed that Bryan had begun writing and recording songs for his upcoming fifth studio album. His last spring break album, Spring Break...Checkin' Out, was released on March 10, 2015. It includes the six songs from last year's EP and five original brand new songs.

On May 19, 2015, Bryan released his first single from his fifth studio album, Kill the Lights, "Kick the Dust Up". "Kick the Dust Up" peaked at number one on the Country Airplay chart. The album's second single, "Strip It Down", was released to country radio on August 4, 2015. The album was released on August 7. Kill the Lights sold 345,000 total copies its first week and beat out Dr. Dre's Compton to debut at number one on the Billboard 200. "Strip It Down" went number one in October 2015, making fourteen cumulative number ones. The album's third single, "Home Alone Tonight" released to country radio on November 23, 2015.

It was announced that Bryan would perform at halftime of the 2015 Thanksgiving match-up between the Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers.

Personal life

Luke Bryan is married to his college sweetheart, Caroline Boyer, whom he met at Georgia Southern University. Bryan and Boyer married on December 8, 2006. They met at a local bar called Dingus Magees when Bryan was a senior and Boyer was a freshman. The couple have two sons, Thomas Boyer Bryan (Bo), born March 18, 2008 and Tatum Christopher Bryan (Tate), born August 11, 2010

After Bryan's sister Kelly died in 2007, followed by her husband Ben Lee Cheshire in 2014, Bryan and his wife began raising their nephew Tilden (Til).

Philanthropy

Bryan has supported numerous charities and causes. The charities Bryan has supported are the City of Hope and Red Cross. The causes Bryan supports are AIDS and HIV, Cancer, Children Disaster Relief, Health, and Human Rights.

Artistry

Vocals

Bryan possesses a high baritone vocal range of two octaves from A2 to A4. Commenting on his vocal performance in "Tailgates and Tanlines", Slant magazine's Jonathan Kefee described Bryan's voice as "a pleasant, if slightly nasal, baritone.

Influences

Bryan has cited influences in his career as being country artists George Strait, Alan Jackson, Alabama and Merle Haggard. As regards the incorporation of elements of other music genres into his music, he cited hip hop bands Beastie Boys and Run-D.M.C. as the source of inspiration in an interview with Huffington Post, noting, "I think there's been somewhat of a change with our generation. You know, nobody grew up more countrier than me, but I mean, I had Beastie Boys playing on little boom boxes and Run D.M.C. and all forms of music, so through the years, I just think it's all constantly blending together."

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