Luke Bryan: That Career-Changing Chris Stapleton Song
When Luke Bryan recently celebrated his thirtieth number-one song at a party in Nashville, he was asked what his favorite song of his career was. Without hesitation, Luke said his 2013 chart-topper, “Drink a Beer,” written by Chris Stapleton and Jim Beavers.
He told us, “I was obviously known as the party guy and the fun guy and I was able to really do ‘Drink A Beer,’ and the fact that I took a Chris Stapleton demo with his voice and really made it a song for me.”
Bryan admits that while the song was one of his biggest, he was disappointed at the time it did not get all the attention he wanted it to. He said, “When ‘Drink a Beer’ didn’t get recognized with the Song of the Year nominations, those were the down days because I always thought it was probably artistically my best work ever.”
Luke sings the touching song about losing a loved one each night in concert, and lately, he’s been paying sharp attention to it. He offered, “The last month, I’ve started really focusing on people in the crowd more than ever when I sing ‘Drink A Beer,’ and when you look out there, and sixty percent of your crowd is emotionally overwhelmed by the song, that tells me it’s just a timeless, beautiful thing.”
Before Chris Stapleton’s breakout album Traveller and the Grammy favorite’s rise to music stardom, he helped Bryan perform the song on Nashville’s biggest award show. Luke shared, “I never will forget Chris singing backgrounds on the CMAs with me, and I never will forget Chris came out and performed it with me at Gillette stadium. This was probably the summer before Chris did the (Justin) Timberlake performance at the CMAs.”
Luke recalled, “I remember looking at Chris and even Jim Beavers, the other writer. Watching those writers watch the crowd sing ‘Drink A Beer’ was one of the highlights of my life. I think we’ve never really seen Chris Stapleton’s eyeballs, and when we were singing it that night in Gillette, I looked at him, and his eyes were lit up, and I think he truly understood what he had written in the moment, too. It was something to share with him that was pretty special. I’ll never forget that.”