Luke Combs wearing a hat and standing outside
David Bergman

Luke Combs Honest About Growing Up On ’90s Country: “I Would Love To Lie & Say I Was Listening To Merle Haggard, But I Wasn’t”

Finally somebody said it, and of course, it was a somebody that has nothing to prove to anybody… Mr. Man of the People, Luke Combs.

In country music there’s this penchant for name dropping legends of the past, almost like the only way you can earn your country music street cred is if you fell out of the womb singing Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings.

The only way you can be real country is if you say you grew up on Hank Williams and Roy Acuff. Problem is… some feed right into it.

You know the artists, the younger ones that say their biggest influence is Hank Williams or Merle Haggard, but then they go ahead and sing “country” songs that sound like Usher. Those are the ones we’re talking about here.

You can see through that bullshit coming a mile away, but it doesn’t stop people from doing it.

I’m almost 31 years old. My mom grew up listening to country, for my dad, it was classic rock. As a kid, I heard Merle and Dolly and Patsy and Willie here and there, but that wasn’t what I grew up on and that definitely wasn’t what I was listening to as a kid.

I was listening to Alan Jackson, Reba, Brooks and Dunn, Garth Brooks, Alabama, and the other country greats from the early ’90s.

And for Luke Combs, it was the same.

In a new interview with Rolling Stone Country, Luke shared some insight into the music he grew up listening to, the same music that influenced the superstar artist he is today.

“I would love to lie to you so people would think I was cool and say I was listening to Merle Haggard records when I was 10 years old, but I wasn’t.”

Nope, Luke was listening to Brooks & Dunn, Garth Brooks, and Vince Gill, just like many of us did, and he’s not afraid to say it. Where many young artists like to say they grew up on Hank and Merle, and of course some did, Luke continues to shoot you straight every single time.

And that doesn’t mean that Luke didn’t come to appreciate them later in life, especially as he continues to fine tune his craft, but it’s just refreshing to hear someone speak honestly about the subject.

It’s clear from his music, what he says to the media, and just the way he carries himself, that authenticity is the motto for Luke Combs, and no doubt, a large part of why he’s attracted the massive audience that he has.

Simply put, What You See Is What You Get with Luke, and for his fans, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

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A beer bottle on a dock


A beer bottle on a dock