Luke Bryan is thanking his friends and fans for their support amid a devastating loss.
Just one month after the death of Bryan's brother-in-law Lee, the country superstar stepped out Monday night at the first-ever American Country Countdown Awards. Speaking with ET backstage, he said that his fans have helped his family through this trying time.
"It's been a really tough couple of weeks in my family, but my fans and really the country music community, the artists, everybody in Nashville, has really let me and my family know that we're loved," Bryan said.
On the same day as Lee's funeral in Georgia, Bryan was forced to cancel a scheduled appearance at the CMT Artists of the Year honors in Nashville. Stepping up to pay tribute to the star, Lady Antebellum joined songwriter Chris Stapleton to perform Bryan's heartbreaking hit "Drink a Beer."
"We're as close to Luke as you can be to someone and when we found out the news, we all obviously were thinking about him," Lady A's Charles Kelley told ET on Monday. "His manager reached out and asked if we would be willing to sing that song and it was a no brainer."
"It was amazing," Bryan said of the cover. "We were all together as a family watching that happen. It was a very healing experience for our family."
Bryan was honored Monday night with Best Male Vocalist award, flashing his signature smile and thanking his fans directly for their support. "Fans, let me explain something to you: You guys support wonderful artists, because they have rallied around me and helped me and my family through the last couple of weeks," he told the crowd. "It's just nice to feel loved in a situation [like that]. Just thank you guys for an amazing 2014."
Now it looks like Bryan is ready to get back to business as usual. The 38-year-old told ET that he expects to have a new album out next year, and is trying to make his next tour "the most funnest" ever.
"I know funnest isn't a word, but we'll make it a word hopefully," he joked. "I'm just excited about another year doing what I love."
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