If you ever get the chance to ask Luke Bryan a few questions, don’t ask him about turning 40.
“It’s like everyone’s decided to put me out to pasture,” he told me when he was in Chicago at the end of his tour.
So I didn’t press him on it, didn’t ask him what he’d do to celebrate next summer, or how it might (or might not) change his music at all. But he did tell me this:
“I don’t get heady about all that.”
He said that no matter how many birthdays he has, he’s still going to have fun.
“With Kill the Lights, there are moments where you can tell I’m 39,” Bryan told me. “And there are moments like ‘Move’ where it's still like ‘Country Girl.’ And ‘Strip It Down’ is a little more mature, but it works for everybody. If I’m smart, I can keep on appealing. I still get amazed every day at the younger demo I draw. I don’t take it for granted. I truly relish it every night.”
Since his debut album I’ll Stay Me in 2007, he explained, “every album has done what it needed to do to propel me to where I am now.”
Bryan even uses his sense of agelessness to help his family navigate their own struggles with growing up.
When his niece called him for advice recently, worried because she didn’t have her whole life figured out yet, he put her at ease.
“She called me and said, ‘Uncle Luke, I need your help with something.’ Everywhere she goes, people tell her she needs a plan," he said. "But I just asked her, ‘Are you making good grades? Do you wake up every day in a good mood? Are you and your boyfriend happy and having fun? Is he treating you nice?’ I told her, ‘You’re only 20. I was 25 before I even moved to Nashville.’”