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Luke Bryan marks big career year at CMA Awards [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (PA)]

November 3, 2013


It hasn't been Luke Bryan's year alone in country music, but there's no question he's been enjoying a fabulous one.

Named entertainer of the year at last spring's Academy of Country Music Awards, the singer-songwriter is riding high on the success of his album and single, both titled "Crash My Party," and he's sold out concert venues across the country on dual tours.

Things may be about to get even better for Bryan, since he has three nominations -- including entertainer and male vocalist of the year -- in the Country Music Association's 47th Annual CMA Awards. Bryan will be among the performers as ABC televises the event from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 6 with Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood paired again as the event's hosts for the sixth consecutive time.

Having earned his first two CMA nominations last year, Bryan says he's "excited about" his trio of chances this time. In a rarity for any artist, he's scored a couple of clean sweeps: He took both of his categories in the 2010 ACM Awards, and he won all nine awards he was up for at the 2012 American Country Awards, many of those linked to his hit single "I Don't Want This Night to End."

"It's pretty surreal," Bryan muses, adding that at award shows, "I'm like a fan in the room, then I get onstage and do my thing. I just love the award show experience. It's always a fun night for country music to show what they've got, and I really just enjoy being in the moment and being a part of the shows."

That's not always limited to being a nominee and/or performer. After teaming this past spring with friend Blake Shelton to host the ACM Awards, Bryan has signed up to do it with him again in 2014. "With every phase of this business, I give it all I've got," maintains Bryan. "I exhaust every bit of brainpower on making each experience the best I can, and I just relish being in the game of country music."

Sampling a crowd's reaction to his tunes -- also including the country-chart-topping "That's My Kind of Night" from the platinum- selling "Crash My Party" -- raises that "game" for married father of two Bryan, who's spent part of his year performing his Farm Tour to raise scholarship money for farm family members and part on his more general Dirt Road Diaries Tour.

Also up for CMA entertainer of the year are Aldean, Shelton, George Strait and Taylor Swift.

Bryan will be involved with the Country Music Association again soon, as one of the artists on the annual "CMA Country Christmas" special that ABC will air Dec. 2.

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