When you’re as busy as Luke Bryan, it can be hard to find time to celebrate even the biggest accomplishments. With an insanely busy touring schedule, the country star skipped out on holding parties for his last seven number ones. That all changed on Monday, Oct. 24, when friends, family and fans came out to the Country Music Hall of Fame to celebrate his hit songs.
Bryan made it back to Nashville. for a short visit before wrapping up his record-breaking Kill the Lights Tour. The intimate afternoon show was a stripped down celebration of not only Bryan, but the songwriters who helped bring him to the top of the charts. For each song, he was accompanied by his writers, many of which penned multiple No. 1 hits for Bryan.
The set started off with Bryan’s 2014 hit “Play it Again,” written by Dallas Davidson and Ashley Gorley. Before the performance, Luke relived the moment he first heard the song’s irresistible hook.
“When I heard ‘Oh my god/This is my song,’ I said, ‘Yep, there’s gonna be a lot of people singing that back to me one day,” Bryan explained.
His next hit, “Roller Coaster,” was written by Bryan’s longtime guitarist Michael Carter and Cole Swindell. Bryan noted that Cole couldn’t make it for the party, as he had been tapped to perform at the Augusta National Golf Club. Carter filled in the backstory of how the three of them were inspired by a coaster at the now-defunct Miracle Strip Amusement Park in Panama City Beach, Fla. Oddly enough, word of the song’s inspiration made it to the coaster’s owner, who asked Bryan to buy the ride.
“They said, ‘It will be $4.8 million,'” Bryan told the crowd with bewilderment. “I said, ‘Yeah, we’re good.'”
Carter also presented Bryan with his own custom-painted, Georgia Bulldogs red guitar with an illustration of the roller coaster that inspired it all.
Bryan’s first hit from 2015, “I See You,” was dedicated to his oldest son, Bo, who would always request to hear it while riding in his dad’s truck. The plucky and rhythmic song was co-penned by Ross Copperman and Luke Laird, who hilariously had to reference note cards to remember his own lyrics.
The rest of the evening breezed by quickly, as Bryan soaked up the “chill” vibe of the show. After running through the sexy “Strip It Down” and “Home Alone Tonight,” his duet with Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild, he wrapped things up with “Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Everyday.” Famed Peach Pickers Rhett Akins and Dallas Davidson accompanied him for the final song, and in that moment it was apparent just how much Bryan loved being around his fellow writers and musicians.
Bryan’s latest single “Move” is currently climbing the charts, so don’t be surprised if it ends up as his next number one. Let’s just hope he doesn’t have to wait another two years to celebrate it.