intro: Luke Bryan is Nashville’s reigning Golden Boy. His song, “Roller Coaster,” is just one of five singles off his double platinum album, “Crash My Party,” which helped skyrocket him to an elite club of country stars who are able to sell out stadiums.
"Nightline" caught up with Bryan on the road at his record-selling stadium tour in Chicago and also in Florida on his Farm Tour. Bryan's Farm Tour is focused on playing shows in rural communities that might not otherwise have the means to get to the big cities to see his shows.
“My main focus truly with Farm Tour is embracing small communities that aren't used to putting these things on,” he said. “Out here, more than ever, people come up to us and say, ‘this is our first concert.’ ... we’re five minutes away from their back porch.”
While Bryan, one of country music's hottest stars, has earned wide popularity with his feel-good music and party-stomping concerts, here are a few things you might not know about him.
quicklist:1 title:Bryan is a Small Town Farm Boy with Allergies text:Growing up in the small town of Leesburg, Georgia, Bryan spent much of his childhood outdoors, either working on his father’s peanut farm or hunting and fishing.
The country star said he has always battled allergies, even now while on his Farm Tour, playing concerts in small towns.
“I do have funny allergies, and we’re out in these hay fields and it does get to me,” Bryan said. “I grew up outdoors, working in agriculture, and I used to battle the allergies back then but hey it was all a part of making a living. It still kind of is. You got to get out there and make it happen.”
quicklist:2 title: He's Handy With a Crossbow media:26379778 text: Bryan has loved hunting since he was a kid, and is even a part owner of an outdoor company with Willy Robertson of "Duck Dynasty" fame. When he's on tour, Bryan likes to bring his crossbow and a few other "toys" with him to practice shooting.
"I don’t remember my life before I was hunting and fishing and doing stuff in the outdoors," Bryan said. "I think the biggest thing as a hunter is to be prepared to hunt. Make sure all your stuff works right."
Bryan is seen here showing ABC's Gloria Riviera how to shoot a crossbow during the "Nightline" interview.
quicklist:2 title: He Pays Attention to Fans' Tweets text:With 3.6 million Twitter followers, Bryan gets a lot of tweets from fans, but he says he pays attention to what they ask for. Some he says have even influenced what songs he decides to play at shows.
“They didn’t even know they were advising me. They just said something about ‘why don’t you do this anymore’ and then we’ll put it back in the set,” he said. “I don’t think you can ever stop gaining knowledge from, first of all, the fans. They have to tell you your direction.”
quicklist:3 title: He Finds the 'Bro County' Label 'Aggravating' text:In many of his songs, Bryan croons about partying, falling in love, small town riverbank living and popping open a can of beer. His first hit, “All My Friends Say,” in 2007 became a frat boy anthem, which led to some critics pegging his music as “bro country,” a label he despises.
“It really aggravates me,” Bryan said. “It’s a derogatory term, in my opinion, of what me and the people that are doing this music… Yeah do I sing about a truck and a beer on one song, but then do I sing about a completely different subject matter. I mean, listen to the whole album and don’t judge me on one song.”
quicklist:4 title: He Plans to 'Tame' the Dance Moves in Years to Come media:26379895 text:Bryan’s hip-shaking dance moves (he even has a song called “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)”) and his tight jeans are so famous among his fans that there are Twitter handles and Facebook fan pages dedicated to “Luke Bryan's Butt.” But while the 38-year-old country star says he just does his thing when he’s on stage, he plans to tone down the moves as he gets older.
“Ten years from now will I be on stage dancing? No I won’t be... I would certainly say it will be much more tamed,” Bryan said. “I’m up there being really free, relaxed and chilled out ... and that’s really our basis for getting up there and dancing and having fun.”
“And if fans want to create fan pages dedicated to my butt I will take that as flattering,” he added.
quicklist:5 title:Bryan, His Wife and Baby Slept on Suitcases on the Old Tour Bus text:Supporting Bryan through it all has been his wife Caroline Boyer, who first met Bryan when she was just 18 and they were in college.
“He is completely normal,” she said. “I think the hardest thing for me as a wife is that people think we live this certain lifestyle that’s totally opposite to your average mom or dad and that’s just not. It’s different because Daddy travels a lot but really, it’s just normal.”
The couple have two boys, 6-year-old Bo and 4-year-old Tatum. In the early days, Bryan said his wife used to come out on the road with him, and when they were new parents, the couple had to rough it a bit on his old tour bus.
“When our first child was 3 weeks old and we were on the bus and we would make the back lounge that had two sofas we’d make a bed that was just from suitcases and then we would lay a palette over the suitcases and join the couches,” Boyer said. “The band had to hear Bo scream all the night for the first couple years.”
quicklist:6 title:Music Has Helped Him Through Losing His Siblings text:Bryan has suffered unimaginable tragedy in his life. His older brother was killed in a car accident as Bryan was preparing to move to Nashville to launch his music career, and his older sister died suddenly a few days after he made his Grand Ole Opry debut. Bryan says their memories are with him constantly, including the night he won “Entertainer of the Year” at the 2013 ACM Awards.
“Losing my brother and my sister, that took such a negative emotional toll on me and my family and my friends and when good things happen to me through music and via this path of music it helps my whole family,” he said. “When I won the ACM 'Entertainer of the Year' I think we were all backstage and we were all crying backstage and really like sobbing crying ... but we all kept going, ‘wow this is what being really joyous feels like,' because we had dealt with the complete opposite of that, so it was an amazing moment.”
“Anytime I'm in a full arena I just can’t help to think, ‘God I know my brother and sister would be coming to a lot of these shows,” he added.
Watch the full story on “Nightline” tonight at 12:35 a.m. ET