Luke Bryan is celebrating a huge success.
Speaking to Fox News Digital, Bryan opened up about how it feels to have released 30 No. 1 singles. 1 as a country singer, calling it “a truly defining moment in (his) career.” He recalled the early days of his career, saying he was “always working on singles” and hoped his songs would get airplay.
“For my first four, five, six songs, I always had really good first weeks as a singer, but when ‘Country Girl (Shake It For Me)’ came out, I think I had 45 (adds) that week,” Bryan said. “After all the work to get to that point, I remember sitting down, me and my wife, and we were crying about it. It was a big day, and it sounded like the radio and everything was starting to work.”
He continued, “Then we went from ‘Country Girl (Shake It For Me),’ to ‘I don’t Want this Night to End,’ that was crazy, and I was always thinking, ‘if you can. three big, big songs in a row, things would start happening, and then we did ‘Drunk on You,’ that was…so that little period was like that. What I’ve been wanting to know is I can do this for the rest of my life.”
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The “Play It Again” singer explained that it’s hard to know you’ve officially made it as an artist, but said “when that moment happened, I said, ‘I think I’m going to do this for the rest of my life. I don’t have to go back to Georgia and work at my dad’s peanut factory.’
He joked that reaching 30 songs No. 1 is “definitely behind what I expected of myself,” saying it’s something “you can’t predict” and “you can only work to reach kind of small goals.”
WATCH: CMA Awards host Luke Bryan remembers his time in country music
In addition to his already successful country music career, Bryan will return to the CMA Awards stage, hosting the show for the third year in a row, and in what will be his second season with his partner, former NFL quarterback Peyton. Manning. The two held an awards show together in 2022, and it was announced in May 2023 that they would be returning this year.
“Audiences can expect to see great music, big moments, sad moments,” Bryan told Parade in October. “The CMAs always do such a great job honoring heroes, superstars, and the next wave of talent. When you put all that in a room, it’s always a great show.”
While Bryan knows the two have different handling styles, saying that he’s “a little loose, off the cuff, and Peyton wants to play,” he’s confident they’ll be able to “get it together,” and play evenly. the power to make a good night for everyone.
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“I spend most of my time begging him, ‘No Luke, just read the teleprompter,'” Manning told Parade.
In addition to co-hosting the show, Bryan will also take the stage to perform his hits, including “One Margarita,” “Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day,” “Play It Again,” “That’s My Kind of Night” and ” Also performing is Kelsea Ballerini, Jelly Roll, Little Big Town and Lainey Wilson, as well as Chris Stapleton and Carly Pearce, who will be working together on stage.
Pearce and Stapleton will be performing her song “We Don’t Fight Anymore” on stage at the CMA Awards, something she calls a “bucket list moment.” For now, Pearce told Fox News Digital, he’s not sure who he’ll collaborate with next, adding, “I don’t really care, because I did it with Chris Stapleton.”
WATCH: Carly Pearce calls performing with Chris Stapleton at the CMAs a ‘bucket list’ moment
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“It’s a dream come true for me to sing with one of the greatest voices of all time and one of my absolute heroes…and my partner from Kentucky,” Pearce told Fox News Digital of his excitement to perform with Stapleton. “I wrote this song and I heard his voice on it, and to see it play out the way it did and to actually get to have this moment together on stage that was so sweet to me is crazy.”
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The 2023 CMA Awards will air on Wednesday, Nov. 8 on ABC, and will be available to stream the next day on Hulu.