Luke Bryan has experienced his fair share of family tragedies, including the loss of his loved ones. Yet, the country star stood tall through it all, emerging stronger on the other side.
As one of the most successful country music singers of all time, Luke Bryan’s life seems all-rosy at first glance. However, underneath his ever-present smile lies the dark shadows of his tragic past and heart-wrenching losses.
Being a husband, a father of five, an award-winning singer and a successful artist hardly makes up for the misery the icon had to live through in the last three decades. It was of these tragedies Bryan once spoke of, saying:
“I’ve had so many tragedies in my life. It’s almost like you don’t want to tell the story because you don’t want to feel like you’re out there craving sympathy.”
Gladly, he surmounted all the obstacles, embraced all the blessings life threw at him, eventually finding joy again. Here’s how he made it work.
Luke Bryan’s Life
Bryan is a country singer-songwriter, recognized for hit songs like “What Makes You Country,” Born Here Live Here,” “Kill The Lights,” and “Crash My Party” among others.
The Leesburg, Georgia native, landed the planet in July 1976, to peanut farmer Tommy Bryan and his wife, LeClaire Bryan. Luke Bryan grew up in Georgia with his parents and siblings, nurturing a close-knit relationship with them.
Two years after graduating from Georgia Southern University, the star moved to Nashville, in pursuit of his music career.
He first gained recognition as a songwriter for the likes of Travis Tritt, before dabbling into singing, paving his way to stardom.
Even before making his first professional song, Bryan already experienced his first bout of tragedy, in the guise of his older brother Chris’s death.
Chris died in a car accident at the age of twenty-six. The sad ordeal befell the family in 1996. At the time, the singer was only nineteen and gearing up for his move to Nashville to further his music career.
However, he stayed behind in Georgia after the tragedy, opting to attend college at the Georgia Southern University.
Another Family Loss
Eleven years after facing his brother’s death head-on, the confronted another tragedy. Luke Bryan lost his 39-year-old sister, Kelly, to the cold hands of death in 2007.
She died of unknown causes while at home with her young son. During an interview, Bryan’s wife, Caroline described Kelly as a beautiful woman, and the best mom to walk this earth.
She also revealed Bryan’s sister was healthy before her death, with no sign of ailment. All efforts to discover the cause of her sudden death have proved futile to date.
Suddenly A Dad Of Five
Seven years after Kelly’s demise, her husband, Ben Lee Cheshire, suffered a heart attack which claimed his life. The 46-year-old left behind his three children, including Kelly’s then 12-year-old son, Til.
The “American Idol” judge took in the three children, becoming their legal guardians. They joined his two young sons, making Bryan a father of five, overnight.
Meet Bryan’s Big Family
Amid his years of family tragedies, Bryan met and married his college sweetheart, Caroline Boyer. The duo tied the knot in December 2006 and proceeded to welcome two children.
Their first son, Thomas Boyer “Bo” Bryan was born in March 2008, while Tatum “Tate” Christopher joined the family in August 2010. In addition to their sons, Luke Bryan and his wife are parents to Kelly’s kids, Jordan, Kris, and Til.
Bryan recorded another sad loss in 2017, this time, on his wife’s side of the family. Boyer’s 7-month-old niece, Saddie Brett passed away, leaving her parents, and relatives heartbroken.
To honor the toddler’s memory, the family erected a structure inscribed “Brett’s barn,” named after her in their country farm. Additionally, they planted a field of bright flowers in her honor.
Explaining the symbolic gestures, Bryan divulged it was their way of honoring the memory of the dead, by living. He went on to note that living was about being a positive light for people, irrespective of what life throws at him.
Picking Up The Pieces
After a string of family losses, Luke Bryan has finally learned to find a purpose again. During an interview in the wake of his docuseries, “Luke Bryan: My Dirt Road Diary,” the “Crash My Party” crooner admitted he could barely get over the tragedies he experienced in one lifetime. He explained:
“You truly never get over it. You truly never settle in your mind that it’s happened. I mean, it’s always there.”
Notwithstanding, Luke Bryan managed to look beyond his losses, and find joy again. Learning to appreciate his blessings, including his beautiful wife and kids, career success, and health, fostered his transformation.
The star attributes these numerous achievements to Chris, Kelly, and Cheshire, who he believed have been looking out for him all along to make his life so fortunate. Luke Bryan now hopes to inspire others like him, to move on from tragedy even as he gears up for his 2021 tour.
In his docu-series, the singer detailed his life, numerous tragedies, and family losses. Through the five-episode lineup, the icon drove home the biggest lesson learned in his tragic journey: No one is promised another day.