OFFSTAGE: Luke Bryan on Phillip Phillips’ “Distinct Style”

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

American Idol winner Phillip Phillips had a really rough time last week. He reportedly had a six-hour surgery to remove kidney stones. Then after that, his family’s store was robbed. So I thought I’d share some good news with Phillips: Luke Bryan is really, really behind him. Bryan and I talked after his rehearsal for the CMT Music Awards rehearsal last week, and he told me how much it meant to him to watch a good ol’ boy from Georgia win this year’s Idol. “Good vibes and good karma are coming from down there,” Bryan said. “And what’s really refreshing about the Phillip Phillips thing is that he has a very distinct style. He is already an artist. And I think that’s essentially what won him Idol. Everybody could see this guy is an artist.” When I asked what he meant by distinct style, Bryan said Phillips has his own way of singing. But that it’s about more than that. “Being an artist isn’t about the best voice in the world. It’s about a compete thing that you give off. And for him to be so young and from a small town like Leesburg, and for him to already have a lot of that is pretty impressive,” he said. “I couldn’t be more proud to be from his hometown. “

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.