Luke Bryan Tests Positive for COVID-19
Luke Bryan has tested positive for COVID-19. The singer and American Idol judge shared that the diagnosis will force him to miss time on the TV singing competiton, beginning with Monday night's (April 12) episode on ABC.
Bryan shared the news on social media on Monday, saying "I’m sad to say I won’t be a part of tonight’s first live @AmericanIdol show. I tested positive for COVID but I’m doing well and look forward to being back at it soon."
The positive COVID-19 diagnosis comes after a flurry of media activity to promote both Season 19 of American Idol and the deluxe version of Bryan's latest album, Born Here, Live Here, Die Here, released on Friday (April 9). Bryan appeared in person to talk to Jimmy Kimmel on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and also performed. A performance on Good Morning America, meanwhile, came remotely on Friday; it's not clear if it was live or pre-recorded, but Bryan sang his new single, "Waves."
Live episodes of American Idol are slated to begin on Monday, meaning Bryan could have been in Los Angeles, Calif., at the time of his diagnosis. It's not clear if he came into contact with anyone else associated with the show beforehand. All previous Season 19 episodes were recorded many weeks ago.
American Idol showrunners announced on Monday that Paula Abdul will fill in as a guest judge in Bryan's absence. The '80s pop star is one of the show's three original judges; she filled the role from 2002 to 2009.
Bryan lives in Nashville with his wife and two sons, Bo and Tate. He is slated to begin his Spring 2021 tour in May, although he hasn't promoted the tour in any way, leaving some to speculate that he, too, may push it back another few months, or even to 2022, as Kenny Chesney did.
See American Idol Stars Then + Now: