It’s an undisputed fact that Luke Bryan loves liquor and beer. Dubbed the “Father of Bro Country” because he loves singing songs that are basically about keg parties and summer flings, the guy isn’t shy about his love of booze. He even drinks before concerts and sometimes on stage. Some of his drunken antics are pretty funny. But some of what happens really makes you wonder, does Luke Bryan actually have a drinking problem?
Evidence: Luke Bryan Does Not Have A Drinking Problem
No one disputes that Luke Bryan likes to have a good time. He’s the guy who recorded the song “Drinking Again.” But he is clear that he keeps it under control when he is on tour.
One of the reasons people speculate that Bryan has a drinking problem is because of the red solo cups he has with him on stage. But in an interview with the Huffington Post, he opened up about what was actually in them.
“Well there’s water, and I keep a little Maker’s on ice, and I keep some Maple Crown. You never know, really. Sometimes your allergies are acting up and a little bit of whiskey will clear your throat, and then some days water or hot tea is all you need. It’s kind of like my little station.”
When the interviewer said it was surprising that there was tea in the cup, Bryan was quick to respond. “It’s pretty much impossible to drink. People are like, ”Man, do you get drunk before you go out?” and I’m like, “Well do you get drunk before you go to the gym?” It’s kind of counterproductive to get drunk and that’s not very professional in my opinion.”
In all fairness, Bryan does not have any arrest records for driving while intoxicated or anything like that. So there isn’t evidence that there is anything serious, at least by that evidence. But let’s look at the other side of the issue.
Evidence: Luke Bryan Does Have A Drinking Problem
Some of Bryan’s indulging is definitely just near the line of problem. For example, he claimed he doesn’t get drunk when performing. But that is not entirely true. For several years, he performed at Panama City Beach during Spring Break. And he admitted to Ellen Degeneres that he did drink during those shows. In fact, he said he drank a lot (beer, mainly, but also tequila). “After six years of doing it I’ve learned what to start with, what to drink during,” he told her.
Luke Bryan has also fallen off the stage a handful of times. There is speculation that this was because of drinking. And referring to his tour crew, he once told Billboard, “Our whiskey bill is the highest in all of North American touring, I promise you.” That interviewer also noted that Bryan’s tour bus is “stocked with industrial-sized bottles of Crown Royal and Grey Goose.”
He was once so intoxicated that he challenged Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps to a swim-off when Phelps was at the Bryan home for a party. Apparently he didn’t even remember doing it–his wife, Caroline, told him about it the next day. “After I walked off stage [of the Super Bowl], I started drinking a whole lot of beer and Caroline let me know that I challenged Michael Phelps to a swim-off in our pool,” he posted on social media.
And there were some instances that were more serious. Saving Country Music recalled an instance where paparazzi took photos of Luke Bryan drinking beers while driving his truck. Fortunately, he was on his own property. But he could have been injured. Especially given the fact that he actually submerged one of those trucks in a pond on his land. And in his “That’s My Kind Of Night”, he actually sings about drinking and driving.
Part of it depends on how you define “problem.” That’s a broad term. Certainly, he doesn’t have a serious needs-to-be-in-rehab problem. But is it something that is impacting his life in a negative way?
Given the evidence, Luke Bryan may not have a drinking problem. He doesn’t have an arrest record. He shows up for his concerts. And he seems like a fairly responsible guy. For example, he and his wife are raising his late sister’s children along with their own children. And he appears to be an involved father.
However, even if he doesn’t have an actual problem, it seems clear that he is flirting with one. Many of his actions are plainly irresponsible, if not dangerous. Drinking and driving is a big deal, even if it is on your own property. And the fact that he not only does it but glorifies it in his songs isn’t okay. Like it or not, artists become role models and their music shapes cultural attitudes.
Beyond that, drinking to the point that people have told you the next day what you did isn’t exactly responsible. One can imagine that Caroline Bryan does not want to have those types of conversations with him when he is on the road without her (“Hey, honey, what did you do last night?” “I don’t know–maybe I slept with someone else because I was too drunk to remember”).
What Do You Think?
But here’s the thing. The frat boy party image is Luke Bryan. He’s the guy you see on stage with a beer. He writes about it, he sings about it. And he sells a hell of a lot of records because of it. So given that he makes a living by selling songs that glorify sex and drinking, it doesn’t seem likely to change. Maybe if something more serious happens, it will change something. But let’s hope that doesn’t happen.
What do you think? Do you think that Luke Bryan is just having fun? Or do you think that something more serious is under the surface? Do you think he has a drinking problem?