OFFSTAGE: Luke Bryan’s Heimlich Maneuver Scare

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

Luke Bryan is thankful for his family, obviously, and his friends. But especially, one friend. The one who helped him when he was choking on a slice of flatbread pizza. “I had a friend do the Heimlich on me last Monday in a pizza restaurant. It was pretty freaky there for about 30 seconds,” Bryan says in the current issue of People Country. “A piece of flatbread pizza flaked off and got lodged in my airway, and I went down. He picked me up and got it out of there.” That is a good friend. But Bryan said he is also thankful for his fans, his new farm just south of Nashville, his fishing-and-tackle collection and his great white teeth despite drinking two cups of coffee every day. But as country music fans, I think we are probably all very, very grateful to the friend who didn’t let Bryan die in that pizza restaurant. If you’ve never learned the Heimlich maneuver, this is a good how-to on the lifesaving technique. Trust me — and Bryan’s friend — it works.