In a career spanning two decades, Luke Bryan has become one of the brightest stars in country music. What was his first song?
Luke Bryan’s first single was “All My Friends Say”, released in January 2007. The song was originally part of an EP, “Luke Bryan”, but was later included in his debut studio album, “I’ll Stay Me”. The song peaked at number 5 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.
For more on Luke Bryan’s early life and his first records, read on.
Luke intended to move to Nashville to pursue a music career when he was 19 but his older brother, Chris, was killed in a car accident shortly before Luke’s planned move.
Rather than move away from his family, Bryan enrolled at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, a three-hour drive from home instead of the six hours to Nashville. He studied business administration and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1999.
Though he had put his musical ambitions on hold after the loss of his brother, a career in music remained Bryan’s dream. He finally took the bold step to travel to Nashville two years after graduation when his father urged him to pack his truck and go.
In Nashville, Bryan found work at a publishing house, working with artists such as Travis Tritt. He signed with Capitol Records Nashville as a performer but worked as a songwriter while also writing his own debut album.
He co-wrote Billy Currington’s “Good Directions”, which reached number 1 on Billboard’s country chart in 2007.
The song tells the story of a man who wakes at home after a night of drinking at a bar, unable to remember the chain of events that led him home. After asking his friends, he is told that he saw his ex at the bar with another man and began drinking heavily.
When Bryan recorded his debut album, “I’ll Stay Me”, “All My Friends Say” was selected as the lead single and thus Bryan’s debut single.
The song officially released in January 2007 and entered Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart at number 59, later peaking at number 5. It later crept onto Billboard’s Hot 100 and was number 31 on their annual US Country Songs list for 2007.
Bryan has said he feels that “All My Friends Say” had an ability to connect with the audience. He said that many people can relate to the feeling of waking up with no memory of what happened the night before and the emotional response to seeing a former partner with somebody new.
Reviews were largely positive, with the song’s writing and Bryan’s performance praised, though there were some complaints about its production quality. This would become less of a problem as Bryan’s profile continued to grow, allowing for ever better production.
The song has been certified Platinum by the RIAA, signifying that it has sold more than a million copies.
Bryan’s debut album, “I’ll Stay Me”, released on August 14, 2007, and has the most traditional country sound of his releases. He played a major part in writing the album, receiving a co-writer credit on all but one of the record’s 11 songs.
“I’ll Stay Me” peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and, like Bryan’s debut single, has been certified Gold by the RIAA.
Luke Bryan has gone on to much greater success in the years since. As of August 2020, he has had 11 number 1s on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart and eight number 1 albums on their Top Country Albums chart.