Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Artists from Michael Jackson to Ronnie Milsap shaped the country star's music tastes

June 02, 2016 at 12:10 PM EDT

Country star Luke Bryan released his fifth album, Kill the Lights, in 2015 and recently completed a massive U.S. tour. His summer continues Friday with an appearance on TODAY, and in advance of the performance, the 37-year-old broke down the soundtrack of his life for EW.

The first song I remember being obsessed with

“Probably ‘Back on My Mind,’ Ronnie Millsap. My parents were just big Ronnie Milsap fans. I remember just being a kid and just loving it. Whatever was the big hot top 40 country [song], whoever those big artists were at the time, that’s who we always gravitated to.”

The artists that made me want to pursue music

“That whole early ’90s [period], from Allen Jackson to Clint Black ‘Killing Time’ to Brooks & Dunn. A lot of the big names in country during that time period, I would say got me going. George Strait and Alabama, I learned a lot of their songs on guitar. It was a lot of influences of that time frame in music that really left a mark on me.”

The first album I remember buying with my own money

“It was a cassette tape with Thriller. I had five bucks. It was a used tape. One of my dad’s friends had it and I bought it from them for $5. I had to have been 8 or 9.”

The first concert I saw

“Jerry Lee Lewis and T.G. Sheppard. It was in Leslie, Georgia at this little opry house. Being a kid I was just enjoying it all and [it] left certainly a mark on me.”

The song that reminds me of my wife

“‘Stuck on You’ was always a big song for me and my wife. Back in college, we listened to ‘Stuck on You’ constantly. That was kind of our romantic riding roads and doing that kind of stuff.”

The song I choose at karaoke

“‘All Night Long,’ Lionel Richie. It’s just always a fun song to get the party going. I think people rarely expect it from me. It’s always kind of a shocker.”

The song I want played at my funeral

“‘Go Rest High on That Mountain’ or ‘Amazing Grace’ will do the trick.”

You May Like