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Luke Bryan’s star power has never been in doubt, but he won us all over again on his “Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day Tour.” With more than 50 dates, the tour kicked off in May and ran through early November, and Luke proved night after night why his fans can’t get enough of his live shows. They gave the love back by voting Luke’s outing as the Rare Country Awards Tour of the Year.

Luke accepted the honor via video message at the Dec. 14 event, saying, “Hey guys, it’s Luke here. I want to thank all of my fans that went out there and voted and made my tour the Rare Country Awards Tour of the Year. Thanks again. It’s been an amazing year, and we’ll see you in 2018.”

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We caught up with Luke when he kicked off the tour in May, and he was itching to get back onstage after taking a few weeks off the road.

Luke told Rare Country just before the tour launched, “I’m in this business because I love it. I love being onstage, and I love a different town every night and just the whole deal. You do miss it.”

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The fans certainly showed Luke how much they missed him when he wasn’t on tour. By the time the trek wrapped up in November, Luke had played for more than 1.5 million fans in a year that also saw him perform for 80,000 fans during his ninth annual “Farm Tour,” which raises money for agricultural college scholarships.

Thanks Roanoke #HFETour

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One of the many highlights of the “Huntin’ Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day Tour” happened during a Houston show in September, where Luke invited first responders who had worked though the city’s devastating flood to attend the show as his guests, and he donated his proceeds from the concert to the Houston Community Fund.

​Then you’ve got that unforgettable grandma Luke allowed to break the rules in a meet and greet. Frances Stanaway of Missouri is 88 years old and battling a terminal illness. She showed up backstage at his show wearing a custom-made shirt that said, “Shake it for Me, Luke.”

He tells Rare Country, “When you get to [88], you’ve done good, but that never softens the blow that she knew that she had a limited amount of time. So, she wanted to come to my show. They got her in a wheelchair and rolled her down there. She’s at meet and greet, so I let her touch my butt. She got a big ol’ handful.”

We also enjoyed getting little previews of Luke’s new album, “What Makes You Country,” along the way. He performed several tracks from that project in his pre-show VIP sets before it was released in December.

Luke will hit the road hard in the New Year starting with his annual “Crash My Playa” concert event in Mexico Jan. 17-20. The “What Makes You Country Tour” will kick off Feb. 16 in Springfield, Missouri, and Luke has dates on the books through July 22. Go to LukeBryan.com for a full itinerary.

Hunter Kelly is a senior correspondent for Rare Country. Follow him on Twitter @Hunterkelly.
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