Luke Bryan Wants People to Know He's 'Still Pretty Doggone Country'

Luke Bryan hails from Georgia, and while he might be spending more time in Hollywood thanks to his job as a judge on American Idol, he wants his fans to know that he's still just a country boy. The 44-year-old shared that that identification will be evident on the deluxe edition of his album Born Here, Live Here, Die Here, which arrives on April 9 with six new songs.

"I've got songs that are really country songs," he told PEOPLE. "For fans who think the album isn't as country as they wanted, these songs tell an outdoor country story and really say who I am and where I'm at as an artist right now." Bryan added that he wants his fans to know "that hopefully I've grown vocally as a singer and as a songwriter."

"Obviously I want them to hear these songs and go, 'You know what, Luke's still pretty doggone country,'" he continued. "I think people see me on American Idol and they think, 'Oh, well, he's gone all Hollywood,' and all this,'" he continued. "But in the core of what I am, the core of me is I just want to go drive around my farm and put my boat in and do some fishing — do a lot of the same things that I grew up doing in Georgia."

Bryan has already released multiple new songs that will appear on the deluxe edition of the album, including "Country Does" and "Drink a Little Whiskey Down."

"I think a lot of these songs tell that story of a rural, small upbringing," the singer said. "I think as long as I can stay true to ... obviously, I have to have music that hopefully pushes the envelope with different styles. I want music that really, really speaks to who I am as someone that loves being out in the country and singing music about it and telling the story of that."


Born Here, Live Here, Die Here was released in August and contains four No. 1 songs — "Knockin' Boots," "What She Wants Tonight," "One Margarita" and "Down to One." "25. Never would have imagined I would have 25 number one songs," Bryan told fans in a video message in July when "One Margarita" topped the charts. "Thank you to all my fans... feels good."