The coveted CMA Entertainer of the Year is largely seen as a touring award. Both Kenny Chesneyand Luke Bryan mounted major stadium tours this year, while Jason Aldean, Keith Urban and Chris Stapleton set out on major treks as well.
Luke agrees tour success plays a big part, but points out it's not contrived.
"I don't set out and go, 'I'm gonna do this many stadiums to hopefully firm up a nomination...'" he explains. "We're all just blessed to... play in front of a lot of...dedicated fans that have spent their hard-earned money to come to the shows, fight the traffic, and buy the merchandise."
"It's an amazing endeavor...when you can stand onstage, certainly in these stadiums..." he continues. "I don't even feel like it's me, in the moment. I feel like, 'Who is this guy standing out here right now?'"
In fact, Luke admits he finds it hard to stay OFF the road.
"I've always been kind of a tour rat," he reveals. "I get real antsy if I don't...get in front of my fans...I love to...try to make the best shows...I've just always been geared that way."
The "Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset" hitmaker also realizes he's not good at pacing himself.
"It's funny. I get out there...and my voice is tired, and I tell myself, 'You don't have to sing 110% percent tonight. You can sing 80% and probably get through the show, and the fans won't know.'"
"I get out there and I get so excited, I just walk off the stage like, 'Oh God, my voice is half gone.'...I can't NOT [match] the energy of the fans... I think that's why I've been so blessed to...have won a couple, and...thankfully to be in that category for the past few years."
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