Luke Bryan hitched a ride from strangers to his first CMA Fest

The country star will perform his hit "Love You, Miss You, Mean It" during "CMA Fest 2024," airing tomorrow on ABC

ByAmy Becker OTRC logo
Monday, June 24, 2024
Luke Bryan hitched a ride from strangers to his first CMA Fest
From fan to Nissan Stadium stage performer, Luke Bryan tells us how he hitched a ride from strangers to his first CMA Fest.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Luke Bryan has been a country staple in the music industry for years, and with that, he's had a long history with CMA Fest, attending as both a fan and a performer.

But, what you may not know is how he hitched a ride with a couple of strangers to his first ever CMA Fest!

According to Bryan, he was hanging out at a bar in Nashville when a couple of strangers approached him. "They go, 'Hey, we have an extra ticket to CMA Fest,' and I was like, 'Okay.' So, I get in the car. We drive over and stop at the gas station, and we buy some beers and we tailgate. These girls probably don't even know it was me, and then we went into the stadium. We just rocked out at CMA Fest. Martina McBride was singing the biggest hits of that year and I was rocking out to Martina McBride, and now 20 years later, I'm telling the story," he recounts.

Now, he's back on the Nissan Stadium stage to perform for "CMA Fest 2024" a star-studded concert featuring 30 performances from the 51st CMA Fest in Nashville. Bryan's song "Love You, Miss You, Mean It" will be featured in the ABC special.

When On The Red Carpet's Brianna Ruffalo asked him about his performance this year, he told us "tonight, it was bluebird sky. I haven't had any shows. I'm having a great time! I've got my kids here. I got friends and family. It's just gonna be a fun night."

Over the last six years, Bryan has put his music business expertise to work as a judge on "American Idol," and he told us what it means to see his former mentees perform at the festival.

"To be going around downtown Nashville and to see these artists on billboards and fans lined up to see 'em, it's what me, Lionel, Katy and even Ryan too- We want to make sure we find great talent and they can take their 'American Idol' experience and grow their career," he explained.

The "CMA Fest 2024" concert special airs Tuesday, June 25 at 8pm EST/7pm CST on ABC and streams the next day on Hulu.

The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of ABC and this ABC station.