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.
Country Music Memories: Luke Bryan's Debut Album Is Released
On Aug. 14, 2007, Bryan's 'I'll Stay Me' album was released.
Luke Bryan's 'I'll Stay Me': All of the Songs, Ranked
Bryan released his debut album, 'I'll Stay Me', on Aug. 14, 2007.
Jordan Davis' 'Buy Dirt' Video (w/ Luke Bryan) Is Country Comfort
Jordan Davis' collaboration with Luke Bryan on "Buy Dirt" makes for a perfectly-country, down-home comfortable music video.
Luke Bryan Shares the Bond His Nephew Had With His Late Father
A new documentary features footage that the family will find hard to watch.
Luke Bryan Is Basically Living in a Zoo With All of These Animals
At this point, the country superstar is basically living in a zoo.
Country Music Memories:Luke Bryan Releases 'Tailgates & Tanlines'
It dropped on Aug. 9, 2011, and kinda changed his life.
Luke Bryan Sings 'Songs You Never Heard' for His Late Brother
The poignant new ballad is about the songs they heard together ... and the songs they didn't.
Luke Bryan Still Can't Tell When Wife Caroline Is Pranking Him
"She continually gets even craftier," he laments.
Luke Bryan Is Excited His Late Brother's Voice Is in New Doc
Luke Bryan's older brother Chris died young, so he never got to meet the singer's two sons.
Luke Bryan Will Return to 'American Idol' for Season 20
Auditions will begin virtually this week, with the start date for Season 20 still TBD.