2013 could go down as the year of Luke Bryan. After several years in the opening slot of major tours, Luke went big, kicking off his first arena headlining tour, the Dirt Road Diaries Tour, in January of 2013. The first leg of the tour sold out all 21 dates and went on to sell out every date on the second and third legs as well, often in minutes.
In April, Luke joined Blake Shelton as co-host for the ACM Awards, a night that proved to be a big one for him. Aside from co-hosting, Luke debuted his single “Crash My Party” for the first time, a song that would later become a multi-week No. 1, and was crowned Entertainer of the Year by Shania Twain, leaving him visibly shocked after hearing his name called.
“Thank you guys so much,” Luke said, as he wiped away tears. “Fans, for doing this to me, thank you so much for making my life what it is. What I always wanted to be was just a country singer that got to ride on a tour bus and show up on a new stage and play new music every night. This is the defining moment of my life.”
In August, Luke released his fourth studio album, Crash My Party, in August. Just six weeks later, the album was certified platinum for selling more than one million copies. The album debuted at No. 1 on both the Billboard 200 and Country sales charts with 527,783 units sold, making it the biggest sales debut for a male country artist since 2004 and the third-highest album debut across all genres this year.
In October, Luke took a break from his Dirt Road Diaries Tour to embark on his fifth annual Farm Tour, performing for 115,000 fans during the eight-city run, 15,000 more than 2012’s attendance. A local college in each of the communities the tour stopped in received a “Luke Bryan Farm Tour Scholarship” to be awarded to a student from a farming family. He also celebrated another No. 1 single with “That’s My Kind of Night.”
Luke shows no signs of slowing down in 2014. He has already announced his That’s My Kind of Night Tour, which will kick off in January and is already selling out well in advance. Fans snatched up tickets to his show at Madison Square Garden in mere minutes, prompting Luke to add a second show which also sold out in minutes. He will also return alongside Blake Shelton as co-host of the ACM Awards.
“It’s all a dream,” Luke told Billboard earlier this year. “All I ever wanted to be is a big ol’ country star and I cannot believe it’s happened. It’s the time of my life and I’m loving every day.”