Luke Bryan’s Five Years With CMT Artists of the Year

He Returns When 2016 Special Premieres Thursday

Editor’s note: Luke Bryan will join Florida Georgia Line, Thomas RhettChris Stapleton and Carrie Underwood as honorees at the 2016 CMT Artists of the Year special premiering Thursday (Oct. 20) at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

“Hey, I remember not being one, so I’m enjoying being one for five years,” Luke Bryan says of his CMT Artists of the Year track record.

“The first year, you’re like, ‘Oh, I can’t believe it!” Bryan tells CMT Hot 20 Countdown‘s Katie Cook. “And now, I’m in the point of my career where I’m like, ‘Please let me in there!”(laughs) Please keep me working!’ I gotta keep fooling people.”

The Georgia native has had another incredible year, including his Kill the Lights Tour that included a stop at Chicago’s Wrigley Field and two shows at Gillette Stadium near Boston. He also headlined the first-ever concert at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. He’ll also be headlining Saturday (Oct. 22) at AT&T Stadium near Dallas and Oct. 29 at Detroit’s Ford Field.

Much of the momentum resulted from 2015’s Kill the Lights album which includes the No. 1 hits “Kick the Dust Up,” “Strip It Down,” “Home Alone Tonight” (featuring Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild) and “Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day” and his current single, “Move.”

“It showed some more diversity in what I do, I think, and it showed that we’re still having fun too, you know,” Bryan said of the album. “I’m proud that I got to have a success with a duet. I mean, Karen Fairchild getting to be a part of ‘Home Alone Tonight’ was pretty special. And then ‘Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day’ … it’s been amazing to perform it live. And getting to do the video with my family and my friends was pretty special.

Kill the Lights … yeah, it was an pretty amazing album for me. And, certainly, I think I’ve got a couple more song to look at putting out from it.”

On a smaller touring scale, Bryan recently completed his eighth annual Farm Tour which provided college scholarships for 50 students residing in farming communities.

“I think when fans hear the words ‘Farm Tour’ now, they know that it’s something that I’m bringing to town,” he said. “Hopefully, they know they can come out and have a good time — have a safe time — and it’ll be a world-class production and show.

“Just because we’re out in a hayfield don’t mean it ain’t big time.”