The North Carolina-born singer holds a file with 14 consecutive No. 1 nation singles.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Singer-songwriter Luke Combs is making massive leaps this 12 months in his unprecedented rise to the highest of nation music, each personally and professionally.
The North Carolina-born singer, who holds a Billboard file with 14 consecutive No. 1 nation airplay singles with hits like “Beer By no means Broke My Coronary heart” and “Lovely Loopy,” graduated from arenas to promoting out soccer stadiums this 12 months.
However because the 32-year-old Combs was making ready to sing in entrance of a packed-out Nissan Stadium throughout final month’s CMA Fest, he had one thing extra private on his thoughts.
Inside his truck parked on the stadium was a hospital bag, ready for phrase that his spouse, Nicole, was able to ship their first little one. Because it turned out, Combs grew to become a first-time dad with the beginning of their son, Tex Lawrence Combs, on Father’s Day.
“After we stroll off stage tonight, it’s like the following journey is being a guardian, you already know?” Combs mentioned, whereas backstage at Nissan Stadium earlier in June. “That’s like my sole focus after this.”
The reigning CMA entertainer of the 12 months has spent the final decade focused on attending to the place he’s at now. However as he’s ascends a peak most nation artists won’t ever attain, his thoughts is on the unknowns of being a brand new guardian.
“I’ve by no means operated in every other means within the final 10 years moreover making an attempt to be the very best I could be at this factor I do now,” Combs mirrored. “So making an attempt to determine the balancing act of these two issues is mildly worrying, but in addition actually thrilling.”
His aptly titled new file “Growin’ Up,” out now, reveals Combs recognizing what a transitional interval it’s been for him. “Doin’ This,” the lead tune, is an autobiographical reflection on the concept even when nobody had found him, he’d nonetheless be singing in a bar in a no-name city on a Friday night time.
“It was by no means concerning the quantity of success or what number of awards you’ve,” he mentioned. “You simply recognize having the ability to do it in any respect.”
What’s saved him grounded regardless of scaling up is his loyalty to the individuals who believed in him firstly, in addition to bringing alongside these he felt deserved an opportunity within the massive leagues. He is the type of man who data songs he wrote together with his guitar tech, Jaime Davis, after which lower a duet he wrote with fellow famous person Miranda Lambert. His supervisor, Chris Kappy, had by no means managed an artist earlier than he satisfied Combs to let him characterize him.
“Plenty of these band members, lots of these gamers which can be taking part in the stadium are the identical ones that have been taking part in the golf equipment with him firstly,” mentioned Randy Goodman, chairman and CEO of Sony Music Nashville.
Goodman mentioned when he signed Combs, the younger singer already had a robust fan base who have been packing out reveals.
“What he had even in that second was a seasoned facet of it, a maturity, a self-awareness about his instrument, his voice and the songs that he was singing and the connectivity,” Goodman mentioned.
This 12 months’s tour solely options three stadiums, the primary reveals in Denver and Seattle earlier this 12 months and one on July 30 in Atlanta, so it’s develop into a take a look at run for what is probably going many extra stadium gigs to return. Combs admits that he’s been extra on the cautious facet than a few of his group relating to reserving stadiums.
“If the failure occurs, it’s on like such a grander, like extra public show than like in case you have been to fail in a bar,” Combs mentioned with amusing.
He additionally wished to have time to complete the album and deal with bringing the very best songs to no matter venue he was taking part in.
“We don’t have any pyro. We don’t have any hearth. We don’t have any bells and whistles,” he mentioned. “Should you can’t stay and die by the tune on this enterprise, then it’s not going to final. And I feel that’s so paramount to what we do. There’s all the time a second within the present that’s me and a guitar. It’s been that means since we performed in bars, and it’s nonetheless that means within the stadiums.”
In a format that has been slower than others to shift from conventional radio to streaming as the first music discovery software, Combs has excelled at each. And he’s watching streaming numbers very carefully as he plots out these setlists.
“I’m not too proud to have a look at analytics,” he mentioned. “It’s not onerous to go, ‘Effectively, the followers are listening to this tune greater than they’re listening to that one.’”
Goodman’s purpose within the coming years is to place Combs on the worldwide stage. He’s already made inroads by touring in the UK and Europe pre-pandemic, and followers there have discovered him primarily by streaming, Goodman mentioned.
“I see Luke, within the close to time period, doing in the remainder of the world what he’s starting to do proper now in the USA, and that’s play venues, arenas and stadiums that heretofore most nation artists would have by no means even thought doable,” mentioned Goodman.
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