Let's start by laying it all out there. On more than one occasion, I've had folks tell me that they just do not like Luke Bryan and don't listen to country music, these days, on the strength of it.

Fair enough.

Now let me share with you something I read in a Billboard.com blog regarding Luke and his music.

The author, Rob Tannenbaum, theorized that how people feel about Luke Bryan is basically how they feel about country music in 2018.

Luke is one of THE hottest artists in country music, routinely among the top ten grossing tours year in and year out. And it doesn't look like that's changing anytime soon.

So yeah, country radio plays Luke a LOT...because it's necessary. And so I get Tannenbaum's assessment. I agree with him.

I will defend Luke Bryan until the cows come home after finding out more about him from this Billboard blog.

No, I don't like all of Luke's songs. I don't like everything by anybody.

But if Luke Bryan never sang a note, I would find him no less impressive after learning what all he's been through.

First off, I have met him and he's a very nice guy, but I had no idea what all he'd been through until I read Tannenbaum's piece.

I knew that he had lost both his siblings--his brother when he was much, much younger and his sister more recently.

But I didn't know--or remember--that he'd also lost his brother-in-law very recently. Suddenly, his nieces and nephews were orphaned.

So he and his wife Caroline adopted them and now that five kids.

They make it work. Family comes first.

Honestly, he's doing what would come naturally for just about anybody, so it's not like this is a shocker.

He's a good guy. He makes a pretty decent living making the music he makes.

It's good to know things like this about people whose songs I play all the time.