Luke Bryan’s 2013 hit “Drink A Beer” is one of the country star’s most emotional songs, told from the perspective of someone who just lost a loved one and is honoring them by drinking a beer. Speaking to Kelleigh Bannen on Essentials Radio on Apple Music Country, Bryan shared that he hopes the song can inspire listeners who might not normally express their emotions to discuss any losses they’ve faced.
“The beauty of ‘Drink a Beer’ is it makes the good old boy that don’t want to talk about losing their grandfather or their buddy, it makes them think about it and talk about it, and it helps them heal because nobody wants to express emotions,” he said. “Like a guy like my dad don’t want to tell you he’s hurting. And the construction guy and the hardworking, they don’t want to show weakness. And ‘Drink a Beer’ really, when I look out and I’m doing ‘Drink a Beer’ and I’m sitting out there on a dock and I see just a good old boy out there hugging his wife and they’re crying, that’s a beautiful moment. And that’s what music, in my opinion, that’s just what music is all about.”
Bryan has overcome a number of tragedies in his life, including the death of his brother, Chris, in a car crash in 1996, and the death of his older sister, Kelly, who died suddenly in 2007 from natural causes that are still unexplained. In 2014, Kelly’s husband, Ben Lee Cheshire, died of a heart attack, and Bryan and his wife Caroline took in the couple’s three children, Jordan, Kris and Til.
“I think it’s always tricky for me,” Bryan told Bannen of discussing the losses he’s dealt with. “I think me talking about the loss, like I said, if it makes people go well, he’s battling through, and so can I. And I think with anybody with their struggles, I think even last year taught us that a lot of people are struggling, and hiding it and keeping it in is the wrong thing, and talking about it is a good, is better.”
Those struggles are part of the American Idol judge’s recently-released IMDb docuseries, Luke Bryan: My Dirt Road Diary, which chronicles Bryan’s life from growing up in small-town Georgia to becoming one of Nashville’s biggest stars. “When you start talking about the loss of siblings, and even the loss of my brother-in-law, you almost feel anxiety of telling aspects of your life that are so tragic,” the “One Margarita” singer told Today in a recent interview.
“I have to remember, there are people out there that have gone through similar stuff that I have,” he added, “and at the end of the day, we’re trying to just tell the story of my dirt road diary.”