Luke Bryan Is Happy to Inspire, Cheer on Others Dealing With Tragedy
Luke Bryan has a heart as big as Texas: The singer is playing a show in Houston on Friday (Sept. 22) and is not only providing tickets for the first responders who continue to work so tirelessly on Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts, but is also generously donating proceeds from the concert to the Houston Community Fund.
"I remember when we started realizing just how bad Harvey was going to be, my first thought was, ‘Well, we have to cancel the show.' You never want to go throw a party in an area that’s gone through that," Bryan shared with The Boot and other reporters at a recent media event. "And then we read the headlines that Houston’s mayor -- and obviously he did a smart thing -- said, ‘We’re open for business. We want to get back to life. We want to continue.' There was no other choice in my mind and my heart, or in my family, to not make that show about me capitalizing on the Houston area."
The "Light It Up" singer says that he has an affinity for the city of Houston thanks to his frequent chances to perform in the area.
"Every year, I have the opportunity to play the rodeo, and then I have the opportunity to go back and play the amphitheater. It’s such a humbling experience that I get to do both venues," Bryan explains. "So [it's great] that we can ... bring some fun, bring a good time, to an area that’s been dealing with so much, and then, obviously, use a monetary platform to help them out."
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Bryan knows firsthand what it's like to deal with personal tragedies, having lost his brother, sister and brother-in-law. But the 41-year-old, who is raising his nephew Til in addition to his two sons, has learned how to cope through devastating loss -- and hopes to inspire others to do the same.
"My wife and I sit in bed and we try to figure out why these things happen to us, and then we try to figure out, well, what do we do?" admits Bryan. "I think life is about understanding what you can control and what you can’t control. I tell people all the time, ‘There’s no way around life kicking you a little bit.'"
Bryan's superstar status puts him on a pedestal more than others who are dealing with similar losses, but he's willing to be a spokesperson for others who are grieving, if only to offer them a bit of hope.
"We, by default, have fallen into an inspirational role. My wife and I and our family didn’t necessarily ask for it, but it’s good," Bryan says. "Nothing is more gratifying [than] when I’m reading stuff on my socials and they say how the way we go about life inspires them through tragedy. It keeps you going. I’m not saying there’s not tough days, but it’s a way to shine or find some light in all of the struggles -- knowing that little things that you’re doing out there may possibly be inspiring ...
"Celebrity platforms can inspire people, but it’s not even about being a celebrity," he adds. "Celebrities can inspire, but the most simple gesture can inspire as much as a celebrity, so it’s always fun to see the human spirit shine through."
To make a donation to the Houston Community Fund, visit the organization's website. A select number of tickets are still available for Bryan's Houston show; a list of all of his upcoming shows, along with ticket information, is available on his website.
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