Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Thompson Square bring country to town

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Entertainment,Music,Nancy Dunham

Yes, Luke Bryan really is as generous and down-to-earth as he seems.

The Georgia-born Bryan, who tied Eric Church and Miranda Lambert with four nominations for the upcoming fan-voted CMT Music Awards, has been in the news lately lavishing praise on Thompson Square and Florida Georgia Line, the two groups that are on tour with him.

"It's as much fun for me as it is for the fans," said Bryan when asked about touring with other artists. "There are so many great songwriters out there making music. I always encourage everybody to go see them when they can."

It wasn't that long ago that Bryan was just starting to gain national status opening for Lambert and Tim McGraw. Since his 2011 album "Tailgates and Tanlines" was release, his career has rocketed upward. Songs like "Country Girl (Shake it For Me)" and "Drunk on You" celebrate springtime, young romance and classic country fun.

Onstage
WMZQ Fest with Luke Bryan, Thompson Square and Florida Georgia Line
» Where: Jiffy Lube Live, 7800 Cellar Door Drive, Bristow, Va.
» When: 4 p.m. Saturday
» Info: Sold out, though tickets may be available through resellers; ticketmaster.com; 800-745-3000

Bryan credits a lot of his success with the chances other artists gave him to tour and even write with them. He and Dallas Davidson, with whom he co-wrote "Country Girl," have been friends for many years, he said. Writing with him just comes naturally. In fact, one of the parts of touring that Bryan enjoys most is working with other songwriters when he's on the road.

"You get so busy on tour, time really flies," he said. "But [touring with other artists], you just learn how to be a professional, legitimate touring artist. You kind of watch and learn and take it all in and use what you learn."

Although many female fans have developed major crushes on Bryan, the married father of two said that his wife takes all of the attention in stride.

"My wife obviously understands," he said, noting that his two young sons are also growing accustomed to the attention he receives. "I think Bo, my oldest, is kind of understanding what is going on. Tate is still quite young, but we just do things to keep it real, do things like a normal family. That keeps us all on the same page."

The CMT Music Awards will be announced June 5.

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