Luke Bryan: “I Love Being the Guy a Lot of People Count On”

In the year-end issue of Country Aircheck magazine, Luke Bryan talks at length about how much has changed for him in the past decade, and how he has truly loved every minute of it.

By his own estimation, Bryan is currently the boss of at least 55 people every day — and nearly double that when he’s in the middle of a stadium tour — and he says that they count on him to do his job every night. “People are like, ’When are you going to retire?’ And I’m like, ’I don’t want to have to tell people that work for me that they don’t have a gig.’

“I love being the guy a lot of people count on.”

As Bryan reflects on everything he and his team have accomplished since his debut album I’ll Stay Me more than 12 years ago, he sounds very content with all of it.

“I never wanted to be one of those artists who dreams of this, moves to town, gets the dream and then is miserable,” Bryan says. “I wished for it, fought for it and it was worth every second. I don’t have many regrets. I don’t look back.”

He does admits that there may have been little mistakes along the way, and that he knows he’s not going to knock it out of the park every single time. That said, that’s where the people he surrounds himself with come in. “You’re just trying to be a great boss, be decisive and have fun with all of this. I think people know I truly still have a lot of fun being in this role,” he says. “You’ve just got to trust everybody in your circle and have people in place who try to keep you in check and add perspective.”

“When you have ups and downs, you can’t run around blaming everyone else. Essentially it all falls on you. Where I am now is a product of all the groundwork for my first radio tour early to doing the CMA radio remotes last month. I relish those relationships and what country radio and I have been able to build together.

“I never want to take it for granted,” Bryan adds, “because nothing will ever feel better than hearing your music on the radio.”

(Except maybe seeing your video on CMT. Bryan’s “All My Friend Say” from 2007 — his first official music video — was shot on the front lawn of the fictitious Theta Delta house at the University of Georgia in Athens at the actual Theta Chi house. It was a great introduction to the affable rookie who would eventually be on top of the country world.)

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Alison makes her living loving country music. She’s based in Chicago, but she’s always leaving her heart in Nashville.