Luke Bryan knows what family tragedy feels like.
When Bryan was 20 years old, he was set to move to Nashville and pursue a country music career. Just five days before the move was set to take place, his older brother Chris was killed in a car accident. He decided to instead attend Georgia Southern University to stay close to his family – his mom, LeClaire, dad, Tommy, and older sister, Kelly.
After Bryan graduated college, he worked for his dad’s fertilizer company for a while. After Tommy threatened to fire him if he didn’t move to Nashville, he arrived in Music City in September, 2001. After a few years of working as a songwriter, Bryan caught his big break when he released “All My Friends Say” in 2007. He made his Grand Ole Opry debut a few months later.
His sister Kelly arranged for 129 of their closest family and friends to be there from Georgia, but Bryan had no clue that would be that last time he would see her. A few days later, she passed away from unknown causes.
Tragedy struck the Bryan family once again in 2014 when Kelly’s husband, Ben, died – leaving the couple’s three children behind. The “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset” singer and his wife took in their teenage nephew full-time and have also opened their homes to his college-aged sisters.
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While his family was going through tragedy, Bryan recorded and released the song “Drink A Beer,” a song about loss and wanting to sit and drink a beer with the person you love, and miss, the most.
Over the years, the song has struck a chord with audiences everywhere and during a live show in Hartford, Connecticut over the July 30th (2022) weekend, Bryan spotted two young boys holding up a t-shirt the entire show.
Finally, Bryan read the shirt out loud. It said, “Our dad died. Can we sing Drink a Beer together?”
The hitmaker then brought the boys on stage and put on the t-shirt they had been holding up. As the song’s intro was being played by his band, Bryan asked when they lost their dad. May 12, 2020, they said.
Visibly emotional, the two brothers sang into the mic, and it will bring tears to your eyes.