Luke Bryan's Brother's Death Still Affects Him: 'You Never Truly Move beyond It'

Luke Bryan became a successful and established country singer, a career that almost never came to be, as tragedy struck Luke’s family days before he left home to pursue his dreams.

By the time Luke finished high school, he had started his own band and joined high school musicals. At the age of 19, Luke decided to move to Nashville to pursue his career.

Sadly, days before Luke set to leave, his older brother Chris, got killed in a car accident. "I'm kind of hyperventilating talking about it. ... You never truly ... move beyond it," Luke told ABC News in November 2013.

He put his plans of moving to Nashville on hold and stayed with his family for support after the tragic accident. Luke then attended Georgia Southern University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1999.

Luke’s father, Tommy, knew that his sense of duty kept him home, so he fired him and urged him to pursue a career in music. "I said, 'You know, if you're going to pursue your music career, you need to pack your truck up and move to Nashville,'" Tommy told "20/20."

This time Luke made it to Nashville where he soon found success as a songwriter. Shortly after the budding country singer had his first hit song, “All My Friends Say,” and signed with Capitol Nashville in 2004.

In his personal life, Luke also found happiness and married Caroline, his college sweetheart in December 2006.

"When I moved to Nashville and started my family I was really determined to create a situation where they would grow up with a country style of life," Luke told ABC’s Robin Roberts in 2017.

He married his college sweetheart, Caroline, in December 2006. "When I moved to Nashville and started my family I was really determined to create a situation where they would grow up with a country style of life," Luke said.

Luke got invited to perform at the well-known Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, and his older sister, Kelly Cheshire, excitedly organized for almost Luke’s entire hometown to attend his debut.

Once again the loss of a loved one overshadowed everything else, as Kelly died a few days before Luke’s performance in May 2007. According to Luke, the caused remained undetermined. "My only older siblings ... gone from the world, in a flash in two, two different, crazy, tragic manners, that ... we'll never know, and never understand,” he said.

Sadly the Bryan’s had to deal with yet another loss in February 2017, when Caroline’s seven-month-old niece, Sadie Brett passed away. In Sadie’s honor, they emblazoned a structure with the moniker “Brett’s Barn” along with a field of colorful flowers on the farm.

"You have to honor their memory by living; you have to be a positive light for people," Luke added. "If you live long enough, life's going to get you a little bit."

When Luke’s sister, Kelly died, she left behind three children, two daughters Kris and Jordan, and her son, Til. Even though their father, Ben, was there for them, he too passed away in 2014.

With Luke’s nephew and nieces suddenly orphaned, the onus fell on him to take care of them. In 2019, Luke Bryan revealed what it was like raising his sister’s children after her death.

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