Acclaimed country singer Luke Bryan has amassed great success throughout his musical career, filled with never-ending tragedies. But those experiences never set Bryan back and instead allowed him to make huge decisions about moving forward.
When songwriter Luke Bryan started his music career, he planned to relocate to Nashville, Tennessee, to break out into show business.
However, that plan had to be put off for a while when tragedy struck the family. His brother Chris sadly died in a car crash in November 1996.
Country singer Luke Bryan during the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. / Source: Getty Images
"Just before I moved to Nashville, my brother was killed in a car accident. That totally derailed and postponed my Nashville plans," Bryan told ABC.
But his father could see that his then-nineteen-year-old son's heart was torn into two. While he mourned the loss of his sibling at home, he desperately wanted to chase his dream of becoming a singer.
So, based on the loss in the family and realizing how short life is, Bryan's dad encouraged him to go to Nashville to pursue his dream, which he found liberating.
BRYAN MET HIS WIFE IN COLLEGE
Luke Bryan and his wife Caroline Bryan arriving at The Bank Nightclub at The Bellagio Hotel and Casino Resort on April 3, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. / Source: Getty Images
Today, Bryan is a family man, married to actress Caroline Boyer. The "American Idol" judge revealed to the HuffPost in December 2017 that he met his beautiful wife in college, Georgia Southern University.
"I had to drink a lot before I could go and talk to her, but I did. Somehow, I managed to ease over there and somewhat be charming."
When he first saw Boyer, Bryan knew that she would be his future wife. But before they explored a relationship, they spent time together as friends. Boyer later revealed to People in April 2014 that she made the first move:
"We hung out as friends first, and he never made a move on me. I kissed him first! He was always so scared of making a girl feel uncomfortable. He wouldn't cross a line."
The couple dated while in college and split for five and a half years. "The Voice!" star disclosed the reason for their breakup, saying Boyer was a freshman then, so he was about to graduate when they met.
He pursued his career while she had to finish up her degree. However, fate brought them back together. When Bryan performed at a bar in Statesboro, Boyer happened to be in town at the time.
They crossed paths once again, started to chat, and later emailed each other back and forth. The fellow Georgia native then invited him to her family's Christmas party, which he obliged, and they rekindled their romance again. Bryan popped the big question on December 6, 2006, at Turks and Caicos in front of Nashville's replica of the Parthenon.
The "Do I" singer divulged that he blindfolded his fiancee-to-be for the proposal and told her they were going to view a house which was one of their previous discussions. When Boyer took off the blindfold, she found him on one knee.
The lovebirds walked down the aisle in 2006 in the West Indies. After that, the groom said: "I married my best friend." The newlyweds honeymooned in the Colorado mountains.
BRYAN FOUND QUICK SUCCESS MUSICALLY
Luke Bryan pictured at the Sycamore Barn during the 2020 CMT Awards on October 21, 2020 in Arrington, Tennessee. / Source: Getty Images
When Bryan began his musical journey in Nashville, he immersed himself in writing songs for Music Row for record executives, and soon, he landed a record deal with Capitol Records.
The country superstar achieved success at a fast pace, and by April 2007, he was playing Grand Ole Opry for the first time, and his sister Kelly was there for support. That night, the brother and sister posed for a snap, and little did Bryan know that it would be their last.
Tragically, Kelly passed away a month later from a mysterious illness that was never explained. She left her husband, Ben Lee Cheshire, to raise their three kids.
Seven years later, tragedy struck the Bryan family yet again when Cheshire died over Thanksgiving weekend in 2014, leaving the couple's children, Jordan, then 20, Kris, 16, and Til, 13, orphaned.
But Bryan and Boyer quickly stepped in when they adopted their nieces and nephew. They joined the couple's kids, sons Tatum and Thomas, expanding the duo's family into a group of seven. When Bryan reflected on parenting his two kids in July 2021, he said he was having a blast:
“I’m certainly in the golden years. I mean it’s like the sweet spot of being a dad right now and you can let them tag along.”
When it comes to raising his nieces and nephew, the "Country Girl" singer told People in August 2015 that the kids' lives were good even before he and Boyer took over and even after losing their mother. Bryan added his primary focus was to do what he could to help them.
“We never thought twice about it. We just did it.”
BRYAN & BOYER ADOPTED A RESCUE PET
Several years after taking in his nieces and nephew, Bryan and Boyer adopted an 18-year-old dog named Poochie, whose previous owner surrendered. Proverbs 12:10 Animal Rescue took to Facebook in February 2019 to announce that the couple had applied and adopted the furry companion after reading about his story on social media.
The animal shelter posted a photo of Boyer alongside Poochie and his previous foster, Lacey Marie. The Animal Rescue's director and founder, Lavonne Redferrin, told People that they pulled Poochie from a shelter after his family surrendered him due to becoming allergic.
Sadly, Poochie died the same month the Bryans took him in. Boyer announced the heartbreaking news on her Instagram and paid tribute to him, writing:
“If the kindest souls were rewarded with the longest lives, dogs would outlive us all. My heart is sad but full to post this...our sweet Prince Poochie has passed away.”
The animal shelter stated on Facebook that Poochie enjoyed his time with the Bryan family and even felt strong enough to take strolls on their grounds and be a dog again.
Poochie died only two weeks after being adopted by Bryan and Boyer. The mother of two paid tribute to the pup by sharing a video of him asleep, including two images of the dog outdoors on the family farm. The Animal Rescue reshared the video on Facebook and bid Poochie farewell.
BRYAN HAS LEARNED TO 'STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES'
Seeing that Bryan has experienced so many losses in his life, particularly the untimely deaths of loved ones, he once shared that he keeps on pushing forward with a positive attitude and appreciates life daily.
He has watched his family try and pick up the pieces while blaming God and being upset about why they lost their family members one after the other.
The father of two has also learned to prioritize what is essential, adding that soon, "you'll notice me stopping and smelling some roses a little bit more," he said.
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