Luke Bryan Cancels Major Appearance After Another Heartbreaking Family Tragedy

by Sophie Schillaci 1:54 PM PST, December 02, 2014
Photo: Getty Images

Amid a devastating family loss, Luke Bryan is taking time to grieve.

The country superstar has canceled a scheduled appearance at the CMT Artists of the Year show on Tuesday after the death of his brother-in-law Ben Lee Cheshire, Bryan's rep confirms to ETonline. Cheshire passed away on Saturday at the age of 46.

PICS: Country Stars Then and Now

Known to the family as Lee, Cheshire was the husband of Bryan's late sister Kelly. She also died suddenly in 2007 at 39 years old. The couple is survived by three teenage children. Bryan's only brother was killed in a car accident years earlier.

"Losing my brother changed my tremendously and losing Kelly, even more," Bryan told People Country last year. "I literally do not take one second for granted."

According to Ben Lee Cheshire's obituary in the Albany Herald, a funeral service was held on Tuesday with Bryan officiating alongside Rev. Andy Hardin. Bryan has opted to remain in Georgia with his family in lieu of performing and being honored at the CMT celebration in Nashville.

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"We are going to honor Luke in absentia and will recognize him in only the best way we know how – out of respect for him and his family," a CMT rep told People.

Bryans' fans know the 38-year-old as more than a hitmaker – he also has a big heart. Amid a banner career year for the star, Bryan recently granted a wish for a cancer-stricken teen and gave a 4-year-old Autistic boy the surprise of a lifetime.

UPDATE: In his absence from the CMT ceremony, Lady Antebellum stepped up to perform 'Drink a Beer' in Luke's honor. Watch below and read more here.