Luke Bryan: He Stayed Him

"I'm 95 Percent the Same Guy," He Says

Luke Bryan is just a couple shows away from wrapping his 2015 tour. And what a tour it was. Stadiums, arenas, farms, and more than a million fans who came through the doors to see Bryan take the stage.

You’d think that would change a guy.

But when I caught up with Bryan before the second half of his two-night, sold-out run in Chicago on Thursday night (Oct. 29), we talked about whether or not he’s stayed true to his debut album title I’ll Stay Me.

He has indeed stayed him. Almost 100 percent.

“I think my music has certainly evolved from that first album, but me as a person? I’d say I’m 95 percent the same guy,” Bryan told me.

“There are things I changed that are just a product of this busy life. But as far as the core of who I am and my love for getting onstage and writing a song I get to sing, that’s all still the same,” he said. “I am so happy that it’s gone this way.”
This year was Bryan’s fourteenth in Nashville, and his eighth year since that first album in 2007. And he admitted he’s had offers to do other things, but for now, he’s going to stick with this gig.

“I’m still trying to be the best I can be at being a country singer,” he said. “It’s really all I ever wanted to be, so I don’t want to cloud my mind. You have really to be careful, and you have to focus on the music.”

Bryan said he stays mindful of the music business, but is committed to not letting the success “weird me out.”

The “I’ll Stay Me” song that Bryan wrote with Jeff Stevens all those years ago is about folks who ain’t happy like they are: singers want to be Hollywood actors, millionaires want to ride in old farm tractors, and so on. But Bryan will stay Bryan.

“When you see people that get off track,” he said, “music becomes the afterthought.”

The moral of that story: Be yourself, y’all.

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