Luke Bryan Admits He’s Navigating ‘Rough Year’ With His Family

Luke Bryan

Heavy/Getty Country star Luke Bryan

Country star Luke Bryan’s music career has him busier than ever, but that’s made it hard to spend enough quality time with his family this year. The “American Idol” judge said in a new interview that he’s looking for ways to reconnect with his wife and kids in between touring and other gigs, but he’s likely going to have to slow down and back off certain commitments next year. Here’s what you need to know:

Luke Bryan Tries to Make Time With Family ‘Really, Really Count’

During a Nut House fan club party at his Nashville bar on June 11, 2023, Bryan told “Entertainment Tonight” that his work-life balance is definitely off these days.

“I’m not really balancing it that well this year,” he said, adding that he admitted as much to his wife of 16 years, Caroline Boyer. “I’m like, ‘Baby, this is a rough year, let’s just get through it and then we’ll find a boat and go to the Caribbean or something.'”

When ET reporter Rachel Smith teased him, “You always say that,” Bryan laughed, “That’s what she says!”

After season 21 of “American Idol” wrapped in late May, Bryan went on to appear at CMA Fest and started prep for his new Country On concert tour, which kicks off June 15 in Syracuse, New York. He’ll play 29 dates plus perform at multiple summer festivals before starting a Las Vegas residency on August 30 at the new Resorts World Theatre. After that, he’ll play his annual Farm Tour dates, on five family farms around the country.

In the midst of his chaotic schedule, Bryan has found a bit of time to bond with his sons — Thomas “Bo” Boyer Bryan, 15, and Tatum “Tate” Christopher Bryan, 12. In 2017, he and Caroline also adopted his nephew and two nieces — Til, Jordan and Kris — who were parentless when Bryan’s brother-in-law died, 10 years after Bryan’s sister did. Right after the “Idol” finale, Bryan flew with Til, Bo and Tate to see a Miami Heat playoff game, and he said they’ve also gone golfing and fishing in between his kids’ travel baseball games.

“You just try to make your time with them at home really, really count,” he told ET.

And though Bryan loves “to get out there and work” and still plans to be “real active” in 2024, he said to ET that he’s also “gonna slow down a few things.” It’s not yet clear whether that includes his involvement with “American Idol,” which has not yet confirmed that all three judges are returning. In fact, Bryan said in May that he may want to take a break or two from the show during the next season, should he return.

Luke Bryan Says He’s Also Preparing New Album

Bryan has also been working on a new album, figuring out how he wants it to sound. According to American Songwriter, his newest single, “But I Got a Beer in My Hand,” is the first release from an unfinished EP.

“We’re kinda going, hearing songs, writing songs, and when we get what we like, we go in the studio,” he explained to ET. “I’ve got some songs that I’m really proud of and I’ve got some new vocal things that I’ve done that I think fans have never heard … Got some other little tricks up my sleeve.”

With 12.5 million albums sold and over 13 billion streams of his songs, according to UMG Nashville, Bryan has established a fairly simple process for making hit records.

He told ET, “I just try to go in the studio, find the best songs I can, write the best songs and sing them and make the best music I can and, you know, thankfully it’s worked for years and (I’m) just always excited to roll new music out.”

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