While Luke Bryan is no stranger to singing the National Anthem, his recent performance was certainly one of the more memorable ones of his career. The singer performed the song ahead of the Nashville Predators game against the New York Islanders, as part of Hockey Has Heart Congenital Defect Awareness Night. Bryan sang the song in memory of his late niece, Sadie Brett Boyer, who passed away at 7 months old from complications of Congenital Heart Disease.
According to CMT's Cody Alan, more than 200 people were in the audience who are also battling Congenital Heart Disease. Bryan was joined on the ice by two young patients also dealing with the illness.
Bryan's wife, Caroline Bryan, works hard to raise awareness of Congenital Heart Disease though the Brett Boyer Foundation –– part of the family's way of coping with so much tragedy in their life.
"Trust me, there are times when I just lose my s—," Caroline acknowledged on the Get Real podcast. "Sometimes I just go sit in the shower and cry. I struggle with Luke being gone all the time and how to make everybody happy and how to make this charity [the Brett Boyer Foundation] go well. It's hard to be alone a lot. Our family thing is, you can take two paths in life: one of being bitter and angry, or one of I'm gonna find the happiness in this and make the best of something that's horrible."
Bryan lost both his brother and sister, as well as his brother-in-law, but he has found a way to cope with so much tragedy in his personal life.
"You just have to trust in God's plan," Bryan told PEOPLE. "You wake up every day and go, 'I've had unfortunate things in my life. I just have to trust that that's how God wanted it.' That's how I cope. Sometimes I cope well, but sometimes life does get me down."
Bryan will kick off his Proud to Be Here Tour later this year, with Morgan Wallen, Runaway June and Caylee Hammack serving as his opening acts. His Born Here, Live Here, Die Here album will be released on April 24. Tour dates and album details can be found by visiting Bryan's website.
Photo Credit: Getty / John Russell