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Luke Bryan cut his teeth watching CMA Awards performances

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ABC/Robby Klein

Growing up in rural Georgia, Luke Bryan admits that he didn’t often get to see live shows, so watching the annual CMA Awards helped the future superstar learn about the art of performing.

“I was from a small town, so I didn’t get to go see many, many concerts. So to watch [the CMA Awards], that was my chance to see my favorite artist and see how they performed,” Luke said.

As he prepares to host his first CMA Awards, Luke is looking back on how watching the show has shaped him as an entertainer, particularly Alan Jackson‘s performance of his hit, “Chattahoochee,” at the 1993 ceremony.   

“I was a kid in Georgia, Alan Jackson was a Georgia boy singing about a river that I grew up learning to ski on, and here he is doing one of the hottest songs of summer in the history of the world on the stage at CMAs,” Luke recalled, adding that the show provided the opportunity for “really connecting with the songs I love.”

In between hosting duties, Luke will perform at the 55th annual CMA Awards, where he’s nominated for Musical Event of the Year with Jordan Davis, for “Buy Dirt.” The show airs live from Nashville on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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