Reigning country music superstar Luke Bryan has had plenty of years in the limelight, but he wasn't an overnight success story. The Georgia native recently recalled the exact moment he thought he was famous, even though it was pretty early in his career.
"It's gotta be the first time you hear your song on the radio," Bryan revealed as part of the Southern Living Talk Southern to Me series. "That would have been 2007, it would have been 'All My Friends Say.' I was on Highway 82 between Eufaula, Alabama and Montgomery, Alabama, and I heard my song on the radio. And I went, 'I made it! All my worries are over.' Little did I know that that's not true. Your worries are never over. So I would say that's when I became famous, the first time I heard myself on the radio."
Bryan has certainly endured plenty of hardships, both before and after his success. Bryan originally delayed his plans to move to Nashville after his older brother, Chris, unexpectedly died in a car crash. After Bryan ultimately moved to Music City to fulfill his dreams, he lost his sister, Kelly, shortly after he made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry. Kelly's husband, Ben, passed away in 2014, leaving Bryan and his wife, Caroline, to raise their two nieces and nephew.
"You just have to trust in God's plan," Bryan told PEOPLE, speaking of his many losses. "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."
Through all the highs and lows, the American Idol judge has learned how to have a healthy, and grateful, approach to life.
"I'll be on the road and I'll be complaining because a pipe burst in the house [or] something, but then I'll have a Make-A-Wish kid come through my meet and greet and it's like, 'You idiot, what are you complaining about?'"
"Going forward, I just have to try and keep it real and appreciate every day, appreciate where I'm at in my career and hopefully honor my family by my actions," he continued. "The beauty with my losses in my life is that my career has been a bright spot. My family and I have had so many wonderful moments because of my success."
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