You would never know that Luke Bryan dealt with not one, but two horrible tragedies before becoming a country music superstar. The untimely deaths of both his older brother and his older sister, his only siblings, was a horrible blow to his close-knit family. Bryan has not spoken much publicly about this until now…
I can totally understand why Luke chose to focus on the positive aspects of his life, and has not talked much about these dual tragedies until now in this week’s cover story in People magazine.
Bryan opened up in an interview about what had to be the saddest time any family would ever have to bear. Luke says back in 1996, he was just five days away from moving to Nashville to pursue his country music dreams when his older brother Chris, 26, was killed in a car accident. Luke’s decision to put his dreams aside and help his tight-knit family grieve and deal with such a tragic blow was clear and immediate:
“I was never convinced I’d get back to Nashville, but I didn’t spend time on ‘Should I go or should I not? It was just ‘Not going.’ Your mother had just lost a child. At that point, her youngest son was not going to leave the house. Chris’ dying got me a little more mature.”
Bryan spent about 5 years working for his dad’s business after college, but he was miserable and it was his dad who encouraged him to head to Nashville in 2001. Bryan did and landed both a publishing deal and a record deal. He started making his debut album I’ll Stay Me, but then tragedy struck again when his sister Kelly, 39, collapsed and died at home. This came as a total shock to his entire family, and came without warning.
“She was home with her 3-year-old, and it was like someone turned the lights out. They never determined what happened. The autopsies, the coroner, no one could figure it out.”
Luke admits that there were times when he questioned God, and who wouldn’t? But Luke says that now he’s at peace.
When Luke won the ACM Award last year for Entertainer of the Year, country music’s highest honor, he did say at that time, that it was really nice for his family to have something to truly celebrate together.
Here’s Luke Bryan with his latest hit single, “That’s My Kind Of Night”
– Linda Lee, 99.5 WYCD Detroit