Luke Bryan Expresses Gratitude to Fans, Radio at CRS 2017 Following Niece’s Death
During his time onstage at Universal Music Group's luncheon at the 2017 Country Radio Seminar, Luke Bryan expressed his thanks and gratitude to his fans and country radio, not only for their support of his career but especially for their prayers and condolences in the wake of his infant niece's death on Tuesday (Feb. 21).
"Thank you so much for all your prayers comin' out to me and my family the last couple of days," Bryan told the crowd of radio programmers and media members assembled at the Ryman Auditorium on Thursday afternoon (Feb. 23). "I'll tell you what, when I'm checking my socials and see so many of you guys ... that are kind of lifting my family up, I really appreciate it. It means the world to me."
On Tuesday, Bo and Ellen Boyer -- the brother and sister-in-law of Bryan's wife Caroline -- lost their baby daughter, Sadie Brett Boyer, who was struggling with a number of medical issues, including heart problems. Fans knew of the young girl's troubles because Bryan had, in 2016, shared a few updates about her in his fan app.
During the UMG luncheon, Bryan performed his single "Fast" -- a song that, he noted, "is a special song for me, and certainly special this week." Readers can press play above to see a snippet of his performance.
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The death of Bryan’s niece is just one of a number of family tragedies that the country superstar has dealt with throughout his life: Bryan lost his brother Chris in a car accident in 1996, and his sister Kelly unexpectedly passed away in 2007. Then, in 2014, Bryan’s brother-in-law Ben (Kelly’s widower) died just after Thanksgiving.
Following Ben’s death, Bryan and his wife welcomed Ben and Kelly’s son Til, their nephew, into their family (Til’s sisters, Bryan and Caroline’s two nieces, are both old enough to be on their own). Bryan and Caroline have two sons of their own, Bo and Tate, and although taking in a teenager has not been easy, the couple is focused on staying positive and trucking through the difficulties.
“We feel like if we just stay positive through this, maybe we’ll be a positive inspiration for people that had these things happen to ‘em,” Bryan says. “You just have to plow on and play the hand that’s dealt.”
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