Ryan Hurd Shares Story Behind Luke Bryan's 'Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset'

Luke Bryan's current single, "Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset," just hit No. 1 on the country charts, giving the star his 21st chart-topping single. Part of the song's charm is the vivid picture it paints of a summer scene, something writer Ryan Hurd explained comes from a very real place.

Speaking to PopCulture.com, Hurd shared that his own experiences growing up helped him influence the imagery used in the song.

"My family has a lake house in West Michigan and I've written a lot about water as a writer and summertime," he said. "This little lake house in West Michigan has been the setting in my mind for so many country music songs that I've written. Kind of in the same way that [wife] Maren [Morris] has been the girl in every song."

Hurd wrote "Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset" with Richard Chase McGill and Zach Crowell.

"I sort of could picture this place when I was in high school and college, going back to it and remembering those nights and remembering having friends there," he explained. "So building the story around a really real place for me was cool and I think that's why somebody like Luke heard it and he put himself in it, because it wasn't a made up thing, it's a real place in my mind."

After the song was finished, Hurd recalled telling his label that he "really" wanted them to "pay attention" to the track, and they did — the song ended up going to Bryan, something Hurd shared he was thrilled about.

"With Luke, that guy can have whatever he wants," he said. "He is such a special guy and he's so nice, and having a song recorded by him is such a huge, huge honor to have. I'm really glad that it went that way."

The song quickly climbed the charts and has earned Bryan his latest No. 1 as an artist and Hurd his latest No. 1 as a songwriter.

"It really is so cool to watch, to be a part of it and to be a part of, truly, one of the icons in our genre and somebody that people will always remember," Hurd shared. "So it's been an awesome year with that song."

While he's been releasing his own music for some time now, Hurd noted that he'll always be a songwriter at heart.

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"I can't imagine doing one and not the other," he said. "I can't imagine not writing songs for other artists because I'm really, really passionate about that whole process, but I also just really love being able to have more control over the songs that I do that do get heard. I love if I put my name on stuff and my voice and I love the recording process so to me it's like, they're just two sides of who I am."

Photo Credit: Getty / John Shearer