“Extra” special correspondent Alecia Davis caught up with Luke Bryan at the CMT Artists of the Year 2017 in Nashville last night.
Bryan opened up about how his friend Jason Aldean is doing following the Las Vegas tragedy.
Jason was onstage at the Route 91 Harvest festival when the gunman opened fire.
Luke said, “I've spoken to Jason many times. I finally got to hug his neck back here, and hug a lot of the people that were on stage and band members… it’s kind of a new theme going on where you just hug a little longer.”
He added, “I never will forget when I woke up that morning to the news. I called Jason and he picked up. I remember the heartache and the sorrow and every emotion in his voice.”
Bryan believes the tragedy “will change everybody, it will change the world. It will change how we go about in music, live music. It has to encourage us to be stronger than evil and not take anything for granted.”
The 41-year-old country superstar attended the event while on break from shooting “American Idol.” He admitted being a judge is harder than it looks.
“It's stressful because you have to be… you have to critique in a short period of time and you don't want to get it wrong… you don't want to be the idiot that said no to the next Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood.”
Luckily, he got a little advice from former judge Keith Urban. “When I got the ‘Idol’ gig, he texted me and said, ‘You know you’re going to have a blast. Good luck!’ You know you’re always nervous about a new endeavor. Are you going to have fun with it? And Keith was right, it’s really fun way more fun than I thought it was going to be just because it’s like with every contestant that walks though, it’s like you’re opening up a Christmas present.”
Luke will be on the judges panel with Lionel Richie and Katy Perry. He called the group, “a great fit,” saying, “We all complement each other really well. You know, our biggest hurdle is that we all see the talent very similarly. We got to get a little better about, you know, feuding.”