It’s no secret why Luke Bryan has been one of the top artists of any musical genre in 2013. Aside from his music, his stage presence and signature moves have underscored his position as a superstar who has sold out two concerts next year at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
His status as one of CMT’s Artists of the Year follows a string of hit records and packed houses at concert venues throughout the U.S., not to mention a win as the Academy of Country Music’s entertainer of the year.
“I give it all I got onstage and I give this business all I got and that is the ultimate,” Bryan told CMT Hot 20 Countdown . “This is what you get for giving it all you got. I mean, when you’ve got sold-out venues and No. 1 records and big-time nominations like that, it lets you know, ’Wow, people are noticing.’ I mean, I was doing it this way when we were begging people to notice. And now it’s just a great feeling.”
What’s more, the superstar’s down-to-earth personality has also made him relatable, leaving a lasting impression on country music fans.
“My thing is to put fun music out,” Bryan said. “I mean, I wanna be obviously considered a real song guy, too, but I will always have songs that make people wanna have fun and dance.”
However, he also wants fans to think of him for more than just feel-good, party anthems.
“I wanna be known for being a well-rounded and being able to kinda do all that stuff,” he explained.
Not only did the singer bring a fun aspect to his music this year, but he also took the party on the road. Bryan’s first major headlining tour wrapped this fall after performing for more than 1.3 million fans during his sold-out Dirt Road Diaries tour and his fifth annual Farm tour.
In August, Bryan released his highly-anticipated fourth studio album, Crash My Party. In fact, the project’s title-track shot straight to No. 1 one in just 12 weeks.
“That was a whole other place in my career that I had never been,” he said. “I think we had plans to make the video at 12 weeks, and so we had to rush together and get the video made because it’s always been a 20 to 30-week period on my songs to get to No. 1. It’s all about the fans. It struck a chord with them, and it’s fun for me now to have another hit in the show that quick.”
Shortly thereafter, Bryan celebrated his eighth No. 1 single with the album’s second release, [mtvn_video_page id="955916"]“That’s My Kind of Night.”[/mtvn_video_page]
While the success and the more recent title of sex symbol is still something the Georgia native is adjusting to, he acknowledges the past two years have also spawned remarkable growth as an artist.
“Where I’ve grown the most, I feel like, is becoming a better singer and a better recording artist,” he said. “It’s one thing to go out and sing live and then not make that energy happen in the studio, but I’ve gotten a lot better at learning the studio. And I didn’t have much studio time when I moved to Nashville. But what’s funny is, I’ve grown as an entertainer and I’ve learned a lot too at all levels.”
Along with Bryan, this year’s four other honorees include [artist id="3235699"]Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Hunter Hayes and Tim McGraw. For the first time, the CMT Artists of the Year special will premiere live on CMT and CMT.com. The show airs Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. ET.