Luke Bryan: ACM Awards With Blake Shelton Should Be ‘Something to See’
Luke Bryan has some pretty big -- and high-heeled -- shoes to fill. The Georgia native is replacing Reba McEntire as Blake Shelton's co-host for the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, and he couldn't be happier to take on the challenge.
"The guys that run the ACMs and the show, they came to me and first of all, it got presented to me like, 'Do you want to host?'" Luke explained to The Boot and other reporters at a recent media event. "I didn't know if I was ready. It just felt like it was going to be too quick right off the bat. Then they said, 'It will be you and Blake.' When I heard it was me and Blake, I was like, 'Oh God.' This is something the fans have got to see, even though I know I'll be the brunt of a lot of jokes and a lot of ridicule from Blake."
The 36-year-old says his longstanding friendship with Blake is helping him keep his nerves in check.
"A lot of people in our world for years have told us we're essentially brothers from another mother," he notes. "Any time he and I have been around each other, we wind up cracking each other up and drinking too long into the night. We'll get out there, and I think there's a fine line of keeping it fresh and fun and keeping it funny. Obviously with all award shows, when you start paying tribute to people, there's a time to be serious. I think funny, funny, funny for three hours can get old."
The married father of two also plans on checking in with Blake's better half to see if she has any last-minute advice before the big night, should his co-host get out of hand.
"Maybe I need to talk to Miranda [Lambert], and learn if there's a slap, or a punch or a look," he jokes. "I'm sure she knows that look, or that mechanism to shut him down."
Luke, who is nominated for four ACM awards, including the night's biggest honor, Entertainer of the Year, knows first-hand how much winning a few awards can boost his career. The "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye" singer won an astonishing nine American Country awards in December, including Artist of the Year. It was an evening that he says will live on in his memory forever.
"It was a huge night for me, a huge night in my career," he acknowledges. "I can honestly say that I've never felt like the belle of the ball in my career. I guess that's a good analogy ... It was an amazing moment. You think about that moment, and you're like, 'What am I going to do if I have a night like that?' Then you find yourself in that moment, and you don't know what to do. You don't know if you go celebrate all night. But I think I was even-keeled. I guess it's the feeling after a football player wins the Super Bowl. You just take it all in. It was a real surreal moment for me. Any time ... it's fan voting, it speaks such volumes for me. It's the public opinion and that's what I'm in this business for. I'm not in this business to make critics happy. I don't do this for anything other than fans."
Reba has hosted the ACM Awards every year since 1999, with Blake joining her in 2011. She previously announced that scheduling conflicts with her ABC sitcom, "Malibu Country," would keep her from continuing as co-host.
The ACM Awards will air live from Las Vegas, April 7, at 8:00 PM ET (delayed PT) on CBS.
Luke will continue his Dirt Road Diaries tour this week with shows in Indiana, Kentucky and Missouri. See a list of of his upcoming shows here.
Watch Luke Bryan's 'Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye' Video