Luke Bryan sure is a busy man. Born and raised in Leesburg, Georgia, he graduated from high school and went off to Georgia Southern University, where he worked on his songwriting, played shows and self-released his own album. After moving to Nashville, Bryan signed with Capitol Records, released his debut-hit single, “All My Friends Say,” which peaked on Billboard’s Top Country Songs chart at No. 5, and wrote “Good Directions” for Mercury Nashville recording artist Billy Currington, which spent three weeks at No. 1.
Bryan released his own debut-hit album, “I’ll Say Me,” in 2007, and his sophomore album, “Doin’ My Thing,” in 2008. “I’ll Say Me” produced hits like “We Rode in Trucks,” which peaked in the Top 40; and “Country Man,” which broke the Top 10.
On March 16, the Academy of Country Music and Great American Country announced Bryan as the Top New Solo Vocalist for the Year. On April 18, Bryan will be competing for the New Artist of the Year award at the 45th Annual ACM Awards against Gloriana, who already won Top New Vocal Group of the Year; and Joey + Rory, who already won Top New Vocal Duo.
Country Music Pride caught up with Bryan a week before the show in Las Vegas.
CMP: What’s the deal with the “Don’t vote for Luke Bryan” video going around?
LB: It’s a video we did to just had some fun. Blake Shelton’s sayin’, “What do you mean you don’t want me to vote for Luke Bryan??!!” We stole the idea from Obama’s campaign. He did something like that, and it obviously worked real good for him.
CMP: Do you really consider yourself a new artist?
LB: You know what, yes and no. I would say I’m somewhat of a new aritst. I’ve been out for a few years now, and I’m on my second album, but I’m kinda loving being considered a new artist. I get to stay young and stay new. I’m kinda a second-album artist. I’m not brand new — as I’ve been out here for three or four years — but the second album’s put me on the map with everything.
CMP: What’s your schedule for this upcoming week before the show?
LB: We are flying out on Thursday, and I’m going to do a show in Arizona on Friday, and ride the bus back to Vegas, and we’ll do a Fremont show Saturday night with the awards show on Sunday. We don’t necessarily do anything special — just get out there and enjoy the hoopla and everything. I might gamble. I always say I won’t, but I probably will.
CMP: Who are you bringing with you to Las Vegas?
LB: All the family I have will be out there in attendance. It will be a fun couple of days, and an exciting night if we win. We’ll be going crazy.
CMP: What’s your favorite baseball team?
LB: I grew up in Georgia, so I’m a big Atlanta Braves fan. The Cardinals are a close second, though.
CMP: What’s your favorite thing to do with your son?
LB: It’s funny, a couple of days ago we stood out in the yard throwing tennis balls. So I’d say hangin’ and playin’ in the yard. He loves being outside. And I love pushin’ him on his John Deere tractor.
CMP: What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you while fishing?
LB: I love fishing.There’s a couple funny stories about me falling out of the boats, lookin’ stupid.
Fans can vote for Entertainer of the Year and Top New Artist by visiting