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See the Emotional Moment That Brings Luke Bryan to Tears on American Idol

People logo People 3/4/2019 Christina Dugan
Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie posing for the camera: American Idol Premiere: See the Emotional Moment That Brings Luke Bryan to Tears © Provided by TIME Inc. American Idol Premiere: See the Emotional Moment That Brings Luke Bryan to Tears

Luke Bryan is letting his guard down.

During Sunday’s premiere of American Idol, the country star, 42, got choked up after contestant Nick Townsend revealed he had recently lost his two brothers to suicide.

After Townsend’s performance of James Bay’s “Let It Go” — a performance that brought Bryan to tears — Bryan opened up about a similar loss he experienced.

“The simplicity of how you’re able to sell your voice is very, very understated and nice,” a visibly emotional Bryan said. “It’s very easy to listen to. I haven’t brought this up on this show because I haven’t had to, but as somebody, I’ve lost both of my siblings. I just applaud you for keeping a positive attitude and continuing to fight and just try to be a light for your parents too.”


Townsend was then given a well-deserved golden ticket to Hollywood!

In a candid 2017 interview with ABC News, Bryan opened up about the death of his brother, Chris, who died in a car accident in 2000 and the sudden death of his sister, Kelly, seven years later.

“Just when we started picking up the pieces with my brother, then my sister — we lose my sister,” he told Robin Roberts. “I’ve watched my family go through ebbs and flows where we get mad at God and we get mad at why this happened.”

Luke Bryan and woman posing for a photo: Jason Kempin/Getty © Jason Kempin/Getty Jason Kempin/Getty

In 2014, Kelly’s widower, Ben Cheshire, died. And Bryan, along with his wife Caroline, decided to take in the couple‘s three children: son Til, 17, and daughters Jordan and Kris, who are in their 20s.

“We never thought twice about it,” Caroline told Roberts of her and Bryan’s decision. “You know, it was never something that he and I had to sit down and talk about. ‘Should we take this on?’ We just did that.”

RELATED: Country Music Star Luke Bryan Opens Up About the Shocking Deaths of His Brother & Sister


“You keep going and you try to, try to be as positive as you can, and you try to appreciate every day,” he said. “You’ll never get back to 100 percent. You’ll always be working to get back to 75 percent.”

American Idol returns Sunday at 8 p.m. EST on ABC. The cross-country audition tour will move forward with an all-new episode on Wednesday, March 6 at 8 p.m. then will continue every Sunday, with five additional Monday night episodes starting March 18.


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