Luke Bryan is telling his life story in a candid new docuseries, "Luke Bryan: My Dirt Road Diary," which finds him opening up about the grief he suffered after the deaths of his siblings. He also reflected on the tragedies in a recent conversation on Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist.
The country music superstar, 45, was just 20 and about to leave for Nashville, Tennessee, in 1996 when his older brother, Chris, died in a car accident. In 2007, Bryan's sister, Kelly, died suddenly. When Kelly's husband, Lee, died of a heart attack just seven years later, Bryan and his wife, Caroline, took in the late couple's three children.
"When you start talking about the loss of siblings and even the loss of my brother-in-law — I mean, he was my brother, he had been in my life since I was 7, 8 years old — and the hesitancy is, gosh, you almost feel anxiety of telling aspects of your life that are so tragic," Bryan told Willie.
"You worry about people at home just really wondering why this much tragedy and unfortunate things have happened in my life," the singer added.
Still, the Georgia native knows that many viewers will be able to relate to his pain. In fact, he filmed "Luke Bryan: My Dirt Road Diary," which premiered Friday on IMDb TV, in part, to help fans heal from their own tragedies.
"I have to remember there are people out there that have gone through similar stuff that I have," he said. "And so me telling my story of how we get through this as a family, you pray and you feel like you're going to help some people."
"At the end of the day, that's really what we're trying to do," he continued. "We're tryin' to just tell the story of my dirt road diary."
During his one-on-one with Willie, Bryan also played a snippet of his new single, "Songs You Never Heard," which he wrote for his late brother.
Remembering Chris, who was his best friend and biggest supporter, while working on the song got Bryan feeling emotional.
"I tell you what. When you're in the moment of trying to really capture it right, it's very emotional. Sometimes the songwriters will cry. Sometimes I'll cry," he said.
After Bryan shared the song with his wife and several friends, they told him it touched their hearts, too.
"I've had some buddies from home hear it, and they get emotional," the singer recalled. "I mean, when you're in a truck with one of your hometown boys, and they start crying ... it's what writing a song is all about."
"My brother didn't get to see ... my career. My sister did get to see a segment of my career, and she got to enjoy some of it. Then my brother-in-law really got to see the success coming together, and so they all got to experience it in different ways," he added. "It's a moment where you're like, 'Man, what would it be like if they're here?' But that wasn't the plan. There's a lot of people out there that's got the same questions."