Luke Combs Admits His Late Grandfather Was His No. 1 Fan

Prepare yourself. Luke Combs is about to make you cry, hug your grandpa, and fully restore your faith in family.

By now, everyone knows most of Combs’ North Carolina backstory, and how his country music success was initially inspired by his rediscovery of old Eric Church albums when he was in college. But now he is sharing this heartfelt story about his late grandfather, who Combs says was basically the first person to really, really believe in him.

“When I started doing this, I had been singing my whole life, so everybody in my family knew I enjoyed being in chorus class or whatever. I was always singing all the time, and when I picked the guitar up, I would go down and see my grandpa and he would always tell me, ’This is the thing,’” Combs shared in a recent radio interview.

“And at the time, it’s just like, ’Oh, you’re grandpa, he loves you,’” he added, “but he had this demeanor when he said it. He was like, ’No, if you stick with this thing you’re gonna be really great at this, if you keep doing it.’ And I guess I always kind of thought that he was just saying grandpa things, you know what I mean? You’re not going to tell your grandkids that they’re going to be terrible at whatever they want to do.”

But eventually, Combs realized his grandfather was serious and was not just being a proud (but biased) man.

“When I look back on it, the seriousness that he said it with is something that stuck with me. And he did get to hear my first album, which is something that I’m very thankful for. It hadn’t been released yet at the time he passed away, so he never got to see what came of that, but he did get to see the culmination of all the work I put into making it and to moving (to Nashville) and actually following through with chasing this dream, and it’s taught me a lot.

“I helped both of my parents retire within the last year, which has been a really amazing experience,” Combs said. He’d told me before that after he started making a little money in Nashville, he gave his Ford Fusion to his parents.

“And that decision was solely predicated off being able to spend more time with my parents as they get older. My mom retired literally two weeks ago,” he said. “So watching that happen has been not only a joy for me, but a great way for them to have the financial freedom and the ability to come out and experience some of these awesome things that I get to do, right by my side.

“Which I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

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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.