Luke Bryan’s Ups and Downs Over the Years


Luke Bryan has seen incredible success in the spotlight — while simultaneously dealing with unimaginable lows.

The country star has suffered through multiple losses in his life: his brother, Chris Bryan, died in a car accident in the ‘90s; several years later, his sister, Kelly Bryan, passed away in 2007. Kelly’s husband, Ben Lee Cheshire, died in 2014. Luke and his wife, Caroline Bryan — who have two children of their own — took in Kelly and Cheshire’s three kids after the devastating loss of their parents.

“We never thought twice about it,” Caroline shared on Good Morning America in 2017. “You know, it was never something that he and I had to sit down and talk about. ‘Should we take this on?’ We just did that.”

Three years later, Luke sang his wife’s praises, marveling at how she cares for their kids, nieces and nephew.

“Just the responsibilities of our children and our family has certainly extended with our nieces, [Jordan and Chris], and our nephew, [Til], the logistics of her having to talk to five children a day, it’s amazing. It’s something to behold,” he exclusively told Us Weekly.

Keep scrolling to see Luke’s ups and downs over the years:

Family Tragedies

The Bryan family has suffered the losses of Luke’s brother, sister and brother-in-law as well as the death of Caroline’s infant niece in February 2017.

Luke Bryan-s Ups and Downs Over the Years

Luke Bryan and Caroline Boyer attend the 56th Annual CMA Awards, 2022.
Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Luke’s Marriage to Caroline — And the Family They Created

The college sweethearts tied the knot in 2006 and welcomed son Thomas two years later. Caroline gave birth to son Tatum in 2010. (The couple also took in Luke’s nieces and nephew following the deaths of their parents.)

“She’s an amazing support because we’ve earned it together,” Luke exclusively told Us in 2020 about his wife. “When we first got married, she was the breadwinner for many, many years, so she was supporting me. Now we’re in a whole other phase, thank God!”

5-Time Entertainer of the Year

The “Knockin’ Boots” artist has nabbed the top prize at the Academy of Country Music Awards (ACMs) three times: in 2013, 2014 and 2015. He’s also received the honor twice at the Country Music Association Awards (CMAs), in 2015 and again in 2021.

‘American Idol’ Judge

Luke joined American Idol as a judge in 2018 alongside Katy Perry and Lionel Richie.

Luke Bryan-s Ups and Downs Over the Years

Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie on ‘American Idol’.

Crash My Playa Brings the Dustin Lynch Drama

Luke kicked off his debut country music festival — Crash My Playa — in 2015. The annual event promises multiple days of performances from an array of country artists on the beach in Mexico.

While the fan-filled vacay brings concertgoers back year after year, some fans took offense to Luke’s introduction of Dustin Lynch in January 2022.

“No one has drank more liquor, no one has vomited more, no one has taken more drugs, no one has taken more IVs, no one has passed more STD tests than this next gentleman,” Luke said on stage. He later addressed the backlash via social media.

“Dustin Lynch is one of my dearest friends on the planet. No one respects him more than I do, and that night at Playa … my introduction of him was complete sarcasm. Those words that I used were so absurd, I figured everybody would take it as sarcasm. Obviously, some people didn’t,” he said via his Instagram Story. “I’ve spoke to Dustin, I love him, he and I are all good, and I apologize to anybody that doesn’t understand my humor and sarcasm.”

Luke Bryan-s Ups and Downs Over the Years

Luke Bryan performs at Bridgestone Arena on August 12, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Jason Kempin/Getty Images

The Ron DeSantis Controversy

Luke faced major backlash after bringing controversial Florida governor Ron DeSantis on stage in 2022. The singer hit back via Twitter at the time, defending his reasoning for bringing the “polarizing” politician on stage.

“I typically don’t respond to stuff when I’m getting run down on a social platform but here’s the deal. I understand Governor Desantis is a very polarizing figure. But I grew up in a country where if a governor asks you if they can come and raise awareness to help victims of a natural disaster you help,” he wrote, referring to the destruction Hurricane Ian had on the southern state.

“I’ve generally stayed out of politics throughout my career,” Luke added. “I knew people would chatter about this but for me the more important piece was If I am going to come back there a few weeks after a large portion of people have been affected by a natural disaster in a state where people have been good to me this felt right.”

Canceled Concerts

Luke was forced to cancel three shows in three days in August 2023, explaining to fans via Twitter that he could “hardly even talk” after suffering a bad cold. After struggling through his next two performances, Luke had to cancel yet another concert because he was “setting my voice back” at every show.

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