Luke Bryan Tells Kyle Sandilands To 'Go Easy' And 'Go Country'

9 August 2023 | 11:22 am | Mary Varvaris

"The market [for country music] is ripe over there..."

Luke Bryan, Kyle Sandilands on 'Australian Idol'

Luke Bryan, Kyle Sandilands on 'Australian Idol' (Source: Supplied)

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Kyle Sandilands has made the untrue, baseless assumption that country music is unpopular in Australia. How wrong he is – has he seen all of Luke Combs’ sold-out tour dates?

When asked about Sandilands’ comment and his experience with Australian country music fans, American Idol judge and country music star Luke Bryan told KIX Country on the ground at CMA Fest in a newly uploaded video, “I went to Australia, and I sold out everywhere I was at, and it blew my mind.”

Referencing his March 2018 Australian tour dates – he’s due for another visit – which saw the singer appear at CMC Rocks and sell out arena shows in Sydney (Qudos Bank Arena) and Melbourne (Rod Laver Arena), Bryan continued, “It was a life-changing event. The arena where they have the Australian Open… it totally blew my mind.

“I knew that we were going to play it; I knew it was going to be a good night, but going out there and there’s 18,000+ Australian country music fans told me that the market is ripe over there,” Bryan said. “Getting to do my first shoey on stage was pretty special,” he added, saying Melbourne and Brisbane correctly despite his accent, revisiting his set at CMC Rocks.

Not wanting to get into a TV war with Sandilands, Bryan concluded, “I think Australia is the most rural country in the world – there’s a lot of music out there that should be heard in that category.”

After KIX Country producers corrected Bryan that Sandilands’ first name is Kyle, not Carl, the singer concluded with a chuckle, “Kyle, go easy on us, baby. Go country.” You can watch the video below.

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This November, Bryan and Peyton Manning will host the 2023 Country Music Association Awards (CMA Awards), following their success in the role at the 2022 ceremony.

2023 will mark Bryan’s third consecutive year as host of the CMA Awards, having tackled the job independently in 2021. With Manning at his side, he pleasantly surprised the audience at last year’s event, where winners included Luke CombsCody JohnsonElle KingMarcus King, Cole SwindellMorgan Wallen, and Zac Brown Band.

Last week, he released his latest single, But I Got A Beer In My Hand.