The 13-Second Luke Bryan Hug

All He Had to Do Was Give Her That Wink


A lot of records were broken at last week’s CMA Awards , including the longest televised hug in the event’s history when Luke Bryan embraced his wife Caroline when he was named entertainer of the year.

It lasted 13 seconds. That may not seem like a long time, but go back in history to find a longer-lasting hug. You won’t.

Even when Bryan, who could definitely be categorized as a hugger, wrapped his arms around Dierks Bentley and Garth Brooks, those were more of the bro-hug variety. And less than two seconds each.

But when Brooks called his name, Bryan embraced his wife like his life depended on it.

At the time, I wondered if he might skip his acceptance speech altogether and just stay right there in her arms with his face buried in the crook of her neck. After what seemed like a lifetime, Bryan finally let her go and walked to the stage for his first-ever acceptance speech at the CMA Awards.

Brooks, who hadn’t graced the CMA Awards stage since 2005, told the crowd, “Yes, it’s been a while, but you never forget the feeling of winning this award right here.” Brooks would know. He won entertainer of the year four times — in 1991, 1992, 1997 and 1998.

So after Bryan’s two-second hug with Brooks, he made his way to the microphone to express his gratitude. But before he even said a word, he just stared at the seven pounds of handblown Italian crystal in his hands for a few seconds and then, as if the aforementioned hug was not enough to tell his wife how much she meant to him, he winked at her.

Other than the hug, that wink was the second best subtle moment of intimacy on television that night.

In fact, if there was a CMA Award for most genuinely loving spouse of the year, Bryan probably would’ve won that one, too.

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