Thomas Luther Bryan -- better known to country music fans as Luke Bryan -- was born and raised in the tiny town of Leesburg, Ga., where he spent his childhood working odd jobs and helping his dad on the family's peanut farm. Bryan learned to play guitar as a teenager, performed all around Georgia and, after graduating high school, decided to move to Nashville to pursue a career in country music; however, as the future superstar was getting ready to relocate, his older brother Chris was killed in a car accident, and Bryan derailed his plans for several years, until his father encouraged him to make the move in 2001. Bryan joined a Music City publishing house and wrote songs for Billy Currington and Travis Tritt, finally releasing his own debut album, 'I'll Stay Me', in 2007. Tragically, that same year, just days after Bryan's Grand Ole Opry debut, his sister Kelly passed away; Bryan says he connects his 2013 No. 1 song "Drink a Beer" with his siblings' deaths. Bryan's first six singles, from his first two albums, saw chart success -- they all reached the Top 40, five made it into the Top 10, and two hit No. 1 -- but it was 2011's "Country Girl (Shake It for Me)" that really cemented Bryan as a fixture in country music. Every year since 2009, with the exception of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bryan has embarked on his annual Farm Tour, bringing the stage to cornfields and small towns across the country in celebration of the American farmer. He also serves as a judge on the rebooted televised singing competition American Idol.
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