Luke Bryan Relates To The CMA Entertainer of the Year Nominees
Luke Bryan and Peyton Manning held a press conference at the Bridgestone Arena backstage today, promoting the CMA Awards. The CMA Awards take place tomorrow night (11/8) in Nashville.
Having taken home the night’s top honor of CMA Entertainer of the Year twice in his career, Luke knows just what the five 2023 Entertainer of the Year nominees — Luke Combs, Lainey Wilson, Morgan Wallen, Chris Stapleton, and Carrie Underwood — must be thinking as the big night rolls near.
Bryan told us, “Entertainer [of the Year] bookends an amazing year in your career. You did the rehearsals in January, February, and March. Then, you went out on tour for three summers. You did all the work; you went in the studio, you cut the song, you went out here and promoted the songs, promoted the album, and promoted the tour.”
He recalled, “I remember being in that spot. The coolest thing for me was growing up and watching my heroes, that are typically your Entertainer of the Year nominees, that are in the front row. And when I started having a seat on the front row, and you’re up there with Tim McGraw and Faith Hill and Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman, and you’re sitting there, I just remember being like, ‘What the hell’s going on? I made it!'”
His First CMAs
Luke remembers that the first time he attended the CMA Awards, he wasn’t exactly in the front row. He said, “The first year at the CMAs, I was sitting behind the camera looking behind at the cameraman’s butt all night, but I was just glad to be in the room.”
He admits that just being nominated isn’t what nominees have on their minds as the camera rolls in their direction as nominees are read, “Winning is pretty special, and because it’s your peers, it’s the industry that votes you in there to win. Those days for me were pretty stressful and hectic, and certainly, when you win one, the afterparties are pretty fun. I just remember being humbled and honored to be in those positions and to have a nomination or multiple nominations. And heck, I wake up year after year trying to write and continue to get nominations and move the needle in my career and try to be creative.”
Bryan felt some of that love when his buddy Jordan Davis won Song of the year for “Buy Dirt,” which Luke was also on. He said, “Even with the last year with ‘Buy Dirt” and Jordan [Davis] and I being a part of that, it was a big deal for me and a big deal to watch him win.”
“It’s not just the artists that work for the honor. These artists work hard, and they get fired up, and they get the nominations, and what’s cool is their teams do, too. My bus driver and my truck drivers, they’re out somewhere in Mount Juliet flipping burgers and when their boss wins, it’s all about them too.”