Artist Appreciation Spotlight: Luke Bryan

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Since it’s Luke Bryan’s birthday, I thought it was only fitting for him to be my first artist spotlight.

The year was 2007 and Bryan had just released his first single, “All My Friends Say,” and it seemed that it was being played nonstop.  Flash forward to 2008, he was slowly starting to gain popularity, but not many people really had a clue who he was. I met him that year during CMA Fest week in Nashville at the charity softball game, when he was still trying to get his name out there, and we seemed to see him everywhere – the Opry, the convention center signings, the softball game and all of the other main events. I liked him. I thought he had a good attitude and he seemed to have a ton of energy, and he had some good music. He wasn’t my favorite artist, but I was a fan. At the time of our first meeting, all I’d gotten was an autograph, but a couple years later (at the softball game again), I got my picture taken with him, as he was walking into the stadium. It was really quick as I said ‘hi’ and asked for a picture, but still very cool.

I remember one of my friends being in love with him, while I was smitten with Chuck Wicks. We joked that we would go on a double date (yes, Luke was married at the time…It was totally just a joke) someday. Well, not long after that, Luke’s career seemed to blow up. You couldn’t get away from someone talking about how much they loved him or wanted to marry him or one of his songs was the most played on their iPod. I’m not sure if I stopped liking him because of the hype or because I just felt like his music wasn’t quite what it used to be. He didn’t seem like the same country boy from Georgia that found his way to Nashville, and all of the butt shaking on stage was just too much, although I know that most girls are disagreeing with me right now, that’s just not my thing. I wasn’t that crazy about him anymore, which made me sad, because he seemed so much better than what he was putting out there.

Let’s just say, I’ve had a change of heart once again. I’ve liked quite a few of his more recent singles, though I still miss the jams like “Someone Else Calling You Baby.” But, I digress. I’m really big on character, even if it’s just something like an artist I listen to or support. I might listen because of the music, but I will remain a faithful fan because of the character – their story, the way they treat the fans, the kind of music they make, and so on. Every time I have seen Luke Bryan on an award show or in an interview, he has been nothing but gracious and humble. He thanks God and recognizes that God works all things for our good, even in the midst of tragedy. If you know Luke’s story, you know that he knows a thing or two about loss, but still he smiles and wants to make sure that everyone is having a good time at one of his shows and living life to the fullest. He understands that it can all be gone in the blink of an eye. I might not necessarily be a fan of his entire music catalogue, but I am such a fan of his heart. He seems to genuinely loves people and he genuinely loves what he does, and that speaks volumes.

In honor of Luke, here’s one of my favorite songs of his, “Keep Chuggin’ Along.” It’s about the fact that life is going to knock you down, but you just have to keep going. I think Luke is a prime example of that.

That’s all for now,

Shelby

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