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Luke Bryan Opened Up about His Sister's Sudden Death and Adopting Her Children

Junie Sihlangu
Mar 26, 2020
12:00 A.M.
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Country musician Luke Bryan found himself needing to step up when his sister and her husband passed away. He took in their children and expanded his family without pause!

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In the fall of 1998, Luke Bryan and Caroline Boyer met at a bar called Dingus Magee’s while attending Georgia Southern University. They started seeing each other, but their relationship didn’t last.

The future country music star was a senior, and Caroline was a freshman. After graduating, Luke decided to move to Nashville to pursue a country music career, while Caroline stayed to finish her degree.

Luke Bryan at the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. | Photo: Getty Images

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HOW LUKE MET HIS WIFE

However, the pair were fated to meet again five and a half years later, and they met again at a bar in Statesboro where Luke was playing. They decided to stay in touch via email.

At one point, she invited him to a family Christmas party. In a previous People interview, Caroline confessed that she kissed Luke first because he was too much of a gentleman to make the first move.

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LUKE’S FAMILY WITH CAROLINE

The couple ended up getting married in Turks and Caicos on December 8, 2006, and enjoyed their honeymoon in the Colorado mountains. They then had two children together.

Thomas Boyer “Bo” Bryan, 13-now, was welcomed on March 18, 2008. His younger brother, Tatum “Tate” Christopher Bryan, now-11, was born on August 11, 2010.

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LOSING HIS BROTHER

Luke wanted a career as a musician but just as he was about to move to Nashville, Tennessee, his older brother, Chris, died in 2000 in a car accident. The death derailed the future star’s plans, and he postponed his move.

At 19, he stayed with his family to grieve the loss until his father pushed him to leave to chase his dreams. Not long after his departure, Luke was writing tracks for record executives on Music Row.

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CHASING HIS DREAMS & LOSING HIS SISTER

Soon after, the country musician received a Capitol Records deal. On April 6, 2007, Luke got to play at the Grand Ole Opry for the first time and his older sister, Kelly, came to see him make his big debut.

Sadly, that was the last time they took a photo together before she passed away from a mysterious illness a month later. Luke’s brother-in-law, Ben Lee Cheshire, was now left to raise their three children on his own.

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TRAGEDY STRIKES AGAIN & LUKE STEPS UP

In 2014, Ben Lee suffered a heart attack and died, leaving Jordan, then-20, Kris, then-16, and Tilden, then-13, as orphans. Without thinking about it much, Luke and Caroline adopted the trio, with the singer stating:

“Now we have three children that have lost both their parents, so that becomes our new focus, to try to navigate and guide them through this life.”

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THE BLENDED FAMILY ADJUSTS

Even though everyone had to adjust to the change, it was clear that Luke’s nieces and nephew belonged with them. In a 2015 People interview, the singer explained how Bo quickly adjusted to becoming the middle child.

He revealed that his children treated Tilden like their brother and their family roles finally fell in place as time went by. The children would even play sports like baseball together.

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WHAT HAPPENED TO THE ADOPTED KIDS

In August 2021, Parade revealed that Jordan, no-26, who was at the University of Georgia when her father died, got engaged to her boyfriend, Clint Eudy, in December 2020. She posted about it in May 2021 on Instagram.

The series serves as some sort of time capsule for the adopted children [Jordan, Kris, and Tilden].

In the post, she shared that they planned on getting married on September 5, 2021. Their marriage was to be held at the Troubadour Golf and Field Club in College Grove, Tennessee.

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On the other hand, Kris, now-22, attended the University of Alabama and was said to be dating her longtime boyfriend, Cameron, for four years. Tilden was currently schooling at the University of Georgia.

LUKE’S DOCUMENTARY

In August 2021, the country star discussed his new IMDb TV five-part docuseries, “Luke Bryan: My Dirt Road Diary.” Luke opened up about his career and life and his late sister and brother-in-law.

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The musician told Taste of Country that his nieces and nephew only got to watch the documentary’s trailers, and it was hard for them to get through. The series serves as some sort of time capsule for the adopted children.

On more than one occasion, both the “American Idols” judge and his wife post images of their happy blended family on social media. Luke’s loving and selfless act surely meant the world to his sister’s children.  

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