Luke Bryan Debuts Emotional New Release ‘Songs You Never Heard’

The lyric of the song addresses the country music that Bryan and his late brother used to listen to together, with namechecks for George Strait and Keith Whitley.

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Photo: Jason Kempin/CMT2020/Getty Images for CMT

Luke Bryan has debuted the emotional new song “Songs You Never Heard” as his latest Capitol Nashville release. Written by the country hero with Josh Osborne and Luke Laird, it’s inspired by Bryan’s late brother Chris, who died in a car accident in 1996.

The lyric of the song addresses the country hits and stars that the brothers used to listen to together, with namechecks for George Strait and Keith Whitley and references to songs by Clint Black, Alan Jackson, and Tracy Lawrence.

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The narrator then goes on to think about the music that his brother never had the chance to hear, including Jamey Johnson’s Top 10 hit of 2008, “In Color,” which went on to be voted Song of the Year at both the ACM and CMA Awards. Autobiographically, “Songs You Never Heard” also imagines the singer’s departed sibling accompanying the star on tour in the present day, as his biggest fan.

“I’ve written songs through the years that really talk about me losing my brother, but I don’t think any one of them is as good as how this one describes who he was,” says Bryan. “He was a huge country music fan and I just think about how amazing it would be to have him in my life, and how watching him react to all of these songs, and watching him react to my career.

“And the fact we can’t do that, I think really pays tribute to that,” he goes on. “There’s a lot of people out there that have lost a sibling and it’ll make them think about that same feeling.”

It was announced on Tuesday (3) that Bryan will return as a judge on American Idol with Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, and host Ryan Seacrest, for their fifth season on ABC, and the series’ 20th season overall in spring 2022.

Listen to the best of Luke Bryan on Apple Music and Spotify.

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