Luke Bryan Says the Pain in ‘Songs You’ve Never Heard’ Is All Too Real

“That’s what you have to do when you’re laying yourself out there."

Written by Chris Parton
Luke Bryan Says the Pain in ‘Songs You’ve Never Heard’ Is All Too Real
AMERICAN IDOL - "418 (My Personal Idol/Artist Singles)" - "American Idol" gets closer to crowning its winner as the top four become the top three who will head to the finale on a live coast-to-coast episode airing SUNDAY, MAY 16 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Eric McCandless) LUKE BRYAN

Luke Bryan shares a deep source of personal pain on the new track, “Songs You’ve Never Heard.” But as hard as it was to do, the country superstar says he felt compelled.

Co-written by Bryan with Luke Laird and Josh Osborne, the heart-wrenching ballad is dedicated to his late brother, who passed away in a car wreck at the age of 26. Tragically, that means he never got to see his little brother’s success, and even after all these years, the loss weighs heavy on the Bryan family.

Speaking with Audacy’s Katie Neal, Bryan recentley opened up about doing the song, saying he had to dig deep to give fans his true feelings.

“That’s what you have to do when you’re laying yourself out there,” he says of the track. “You have to tell that story and be caught up in the emotion.”

He certainly does get caught up in the emotion, and in some powerful memories. The song is built around a special part of Bryan and his brother’s relationship — the love they shared for country music. According to Bryan, he would often jump into his big brother’s car to listen to the latest and greatest country songs, and the two would dissect each one and compare it to their favorites. That’s how Bryan got the first line of the new song, which talks about hearing George Strait’s “Run” on the radio, and wondering how his brother might have reacted to it.

“That’s where I still am,” Bryan says. “The first time I’ve heard any song that’s one of those Song of the Year caliber songs in country music, I’m always wondering how my brother would’ve reacted to it and how much he would’ve loved it. … The first time I heard ‘Run,’ I never will forget. I was like, ‘I wish my brother was here,’ because he was such a big George Strait fan. [It was like] ‘Gosh, I wish he were here to enjoy this song.’”

Bryan admits it was hard to share that pain with his fans, but honesty on a deeper level is part of what country music is built on. He’s committed to honoring that legacy — but not just in song, since he shares the unvarnished truth about his life and career in a new docu-series on IMDb TV. The first five episodes of Luke Bryan: My Dirt Road Diary are streaming now, but along with the trials and tribulations, Bryan also gets to share some of the lighthearted truth.

“You cant get any more inside into my life, with the ups and downs and really the start of my career,” he says. “I’m really proud we were able to go back and find a lot of cringe-worth footage of me onstage.”

Luke Bryan just notched his 27th Number One with “Waves,” and is also featured on Jordan Davis’ “Buy Dirt.”