With over 75 million records sold, Luke Bryan is one of the best-selling artists of all time, and it does not look like he is slowing down anytime soon. Debuting a brand new tune during Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, Tennessee earlier this year, he continues to release smash hit after smash hit as the years fly by, with “Love You, Miss You, Mean It” finally available on all music streaming services as of April 5, simultaneously impacting country radio.

Admitting to Music Mayhem and other media that “you gotta come up with new sounds and new ideas, and you gotta invent yourself and then uninvent yourself and then reinvent yourself” after being in the music industry for such a long time — with Bryan releasing his first project titled I’ll Stay Me in 2007 — “Love You, Miss You, Mean It” is a fresh song for the country crooner, all while staying true to his signature sound, a tune that could easily become his 31st number one hit.

Luke Bryan; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Luke Bryan; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Talking about the track in a recent interview, Bryan discussed all things “Love You, Miss You, Mean It” with industry professionals, as well as his stint as an American Idol judge, touring, the future of the country music industry, and more.

The Story Behind Luke Bryan’s “Love You, Miss You, Mean It”

Admitting that the song “kind of sounds like vintage throwback Luke stuff,” featuring some acoustic noodling to open the track, blending into its oh-so catchy tune. The story behind “Love You, Miss You, Mean It” is what makes the song seriously one-of-a-kind, discussing a couple that breaks up and gets back together repeatedly. Believe it or not, this story stems from his relationship with his now-wife, Caroline, spilling the tea in said interview.

Song Was Inspired by His Relationship With Wife Caroline

“How many people have had the high school sweetheart that they broke up with and wound up, you know, living the story of getting back together and stuff like that? I think the song just spoke to me on all those levels, and Caroline and I actually, we kind of did the college sweetheart slash break up and get back together, so the song just felt right,” Bryan dished, admitting that the track “felt like it had all the elements of a big hit song” like “Play It Again” or “Drunk On You.”

Given that “Love You, Miss You, Mean It” is heavily inspired by his relationship with Caroline, despite being written by Rhett Akins, Ben Hayslip, Jordan Minton and Jacob Rice, the CMT Award-winner shared his significant other’s reaction to the song, admitting that while she “really likes it,” there was a different song that she wanted to become her husband’s next single.

He admitted, “There’s another song that she was the champion of, and she really, really likes this one, and I can almost say the song that she loves probably will be my next single… For the longest time, the one that she loved was the one I wanted to lead with. I mean, there’s a whole other psychological reason, but I think she likes the song and yet it mimics a lot of our path and our relationship, but she’s excited about it.”

“Like I said, she’s got some songs on the next album that she’s already been like, ‘All right, I’m going to be mad at you if you don’t put that on the radio,’ so I gotta make good on some of my promises for her,” the Georgia native teased, promising even more new music throughout the remainder of 2024.

“Love You, Miss You, Mean It” Cover Art

As far as the cover art of the brand new tune goes, it looks like the photoshoot was much more simple than country music lovers would expect, taking just five minutes at Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo — where he was a performer this year — to snap the shot.

“I didn’t really have any cover art that I liked, and we knew we wanted it to be a photo of me,” Bryan explained, revealing that his tour photographer and videographer brought his “nice camera” and took this photo of the country legend backstage. “We were backstage. The original seats out of the Astrodome were in the hallway there, so I just sat in one of the Astrodome seats and, you know, we did like a five minute shoot.”

Having to blur out the pedestrians that were walking around in the background of the photo, the picture was a winner nonetheless, making its way onto the cover of “Love You, Miss You, Mean It” and proving that less is more, in most cases.

Luke Bryan "Love You, Miss You, Mean It" Single Art
Luke Bryan “Love You, Miss You, Mean It” Single Art

Mind of A Country Boy Tour

Aside from working on some more new music, seemingly inching closer and closer to his 8th studio album, Luke Bryan will also be hitting the road this summer, bringing a throng of rising country stars with him on the Mind of A Country Boy Tour: Tenille Arts, Chayce Beckham, George Birge, King Calaway, Dillon Carmichael, Larry Fleet, HunterGirl, Ella Langley, Tracy Lawrence, Kameron Marlowe, Chase Matthew, Meghan Patrick, Lily Rose, Josh Ross, Alana Springsteen, Zach Top and DJ Rock.

“Last year was kind of the first year that I brought out a rotation of young acts… getting to know these artists while they’re in the infancy of their career and letting them get out there in front of my audiences,” he reminisced. “The fact that I can kind of reciprocate and pay it forward to some of these new acts is a pretty special stuff, and I had a blast doing it last year and this year it’ll be the same thing.”

Beginning on April 17 in Calgary, Alberta at Scotiabank Saddledome and ending on September 14 in Tampa, Florida at MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheater, country music lovers can secure their tickets to the Mind of A Country Boy Tour as we speak.

Mind of A Country Boy Tour Dates

April 2024
17 – Calgary, AB at Scotiabank Saddledome
18 – Edmonton, AB at Rogers Place
24 – Saskatoon, SK at SaskTel Centre
25 – Winnipeg, MB at Canada Life Centre

June 2024
13 – Jacksonville, FL at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena
14 – Orange Beach, AL at The Wharf Amphitheater
15 – Orange Beach, AL at The Wharf Amphitheater
21 – Endicott, NY at En-Joie Golf Course
22 – Bristow, VA at Jiffy Lube Live
27 – Grand Rapids, MI at Van Andel Arena
28 – Detroit, MI at Pine Knob Music Theatre

July 2024
11 – Bethel, NY at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
12 – Cleveland, OH at Blossom Music Center
13 – Cincinnati, OH at Riverbend Music Center
18 – Gilford, NH at BankNH Pavilion
19 – Gilford, NH at BankNH Pavilion
26 – Omaha, NE at CHI Health Center Omaha
27 – Ridgedale, MO at Thunder Ridge Nature’s Arena
28 – St. Louis, MO at Hollywood Casino Amphitheater

August 2024
1 – Idaho Falls, ID at Hero Arena Inside Mountain America Center
2 – Nampa, ID at Ford Idaho Center Amphitheater
8 – San Diego, CA at North Island Credit Union Amphitheater
9 – Los Angeles, CA at The Kia Forum
10 – San Bernardino, CA at Glen Helen Amphitheater
15 – Kansas City, MO at T-Mobile Center
17 – Atlanta, GA at Truist Park
22 – Oklahoma City, OK at Paycom Center
24 – Des Moines, IA at Wells Fargo Arena
25 – Chicago, IL at Wrigley Field

September 2024
5 – Somerset, WI at Somerset Amphitheater
7 – Noblesville, IN at Ruoff Music Center
12 – West Palm Beach, FL at iTHINK Financial Amphitheater
14 – Tampa, FL at MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheater

Luke Bryan; Photo Courtesy of Alan Poizner
Luke Bryan; Photo Courtesy of Alan Poizner

Speaks Out On The Future Stars of country music

While a great deal of budding country stars will be joining Bryan on his Mind of A Country Boy Tour, he also revealed to Music Mayhem and other media some of the acts he think will be the next big thing within the country music industry, naming a plethora of phenomenal artists.

Beginning by praising Dylan Scott, the “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)” singer reflected on what he admires so much about his career so far: “Dylan’s approach has been kind of under the radar a little bit, but having big hits… That gradual climb of just being sneaky-talented [and] sneaky-focused, and I think even now, when I start hearing some of his numbers that he’s doing, it’s pretty cool stuff.”

Luke Bryan; Photo Courtesy of Ethan Helms
Luke Bryan; Photo Courtesy of Ethan Helms

Following up Scott, Bryan could not help but gush about Ashley Cooke, Alana Springsteen, ERNEST, Jackson Dean, and more soon-to-be superstars, with an emphasis on both George Birge and Morgan Wade to close out his lengthy response.

“I had some radio guys call me and say some stuff about George Birge. A lot of how he and I, our personalities are very similar, so certainly, you know, he’ll thrive well if he has my personality,” he joked about Birge.

“Morgan Wade, that’s somebody that I’ve watched, really somebody that’s got a unique approach approach… underground a little bit, but with the ability to mainstream too. I mean, what’s tricky about this day and age is that you can be mainstream. You can be underground. You can be a streaming artist or a radio artist. There’s so many playgrounds to play in, and the main thing is how do you leave your mark to segue into the next big thing,” he dished about Wade.

Relationship with American Idol winner Chayce Beckham

One artist that Bryan has developed an affinity towards is Chayce Beckham, the winner of American Idol season 19, a season where the ACM-Award winner served as one of the judges. Because of this, not only did Bryan share that Beckham has “the best heart [and] the best spirit” — which was evident during his time on the beloved competition series — but he also praised his country music career thus far, simultaneously revealing that they have managed to stay friends with one another post-show.

“I knew Chayce was going to move to Nashville, [so] I invited him to fish. Since then, he goes out to one of my lakes and fishes a little bit, and I’ve gotten to know him as just a dude and a guy… He’s a good person, and anytime you see good people having success, it tells you that there’s still a lot of heart in the world,” he gushed, prior to discussing how proud of him he is for achieving his first number one single.

Bryan continued, “The fact that he wrote ’23’ by himself — I think not since Taylor Swift in like 2012 has a artist wrote a song by themselves that was the number one song — I’m so proud of him… There’s Chayce Beckham the artist and the singer, but then I’ve gotten to know him on so many other levels, and for him to be celebrating his first number one, I sent him a fun video,” said to be complete with inside jokes and curse words.

Chayce Beckham and Luke Bryan; Photos Courtesy of American Idol/ABC
Chayce Beckham and Luke Bryan; Photos Courtesy of American Idol/ABC

is Luke Bryan leaving American Idol?

Currently serving as an American Idol judge alongside Katy Perry and Lionel Richie — with season 22 airing weekly on ABC through finale on May 19 — Perry announcing her exit from the hit competition show has caused quite a bit of questions to arise regarding the future of American Idol, as well as whether or not Bryan will be a part of it. Admitting that everyone is pretty tight-lipped about the show, the “One Margarita” singer revealed in the same interview that he has not made a decision as to whether or not he will return for season 23.

He dished, “I kind of treat American Idol like I do my music career. As long as the show feels like it’s reinventing itself, and as long as it looks fresh and fun, and I know we’re really doing positive things, It’s going to always be something that I really consider doing… I enjoy the relationship with Katy that we’ve had. Me and Lionel and Ryan and the show has been amazing. I don’t know any info on who may be her potential replacement, but it’s a fun thing to be a part of.”

Luke Bryan; Photo Courtesy of American Idol via ABC
Luke Bryan; Photo Courtesy of American Idol via ABC

As far as his role on the show goes, “We’ll make that decision. Haven’t made it yet.”

Nonetheless, tune into American Idol each and every Sunday and Monday to see Luke Bryan in action, and stream his brand new single on your favorite platform now.

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Originally from Southern California and currently residing in Music City, Melanie graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in Journalism before beginning her career as a music and entertainment journalist. Beginning to write for Music Mayhem in August of 2023, she has also contributed to Holler, Country Now, Country Chord, Celeb Secrets, Celeb Secrets Country, We Got This Covered and Decider throughout her career thus far. When she is not writing, Melanie enjoys going to concerts and music festivals, binging her favorite television shows, spending time with her friends and family and cheering on the Oklahoma Sooners (of course).

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