Luke Combs On His Decision To Drop Out Of School And Pursue Music Full Time: “Obviously You Can’t Drink For A Living”

Luke Combs country music
Allen J. Schaben/LA Times/Getty Images

As the old saying goes, hindsight is always 20/20.

So looking back now, it’s easy to say that Luke Combs made the right decision in dropping out of college in order to pursue his music career full-time.

With just 21 hours left to earn his degree about eight or nine years ago, Luke decided to drop out of school at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina to fully chase his musical dreams.

He notably hated school, and obviously doesn’t regret his decision now, and in a 2020 interview with Sunday Todayhe detailed some of the specific reasoning behind why he did so:

“Well, I mean I hated school. That helped; I was also probably failing out. We can pull the records on that probably.

I love getting the alumni letters in the mail ’cause somehow those have wound up at my place like, ‘Hey, old pal, you sure love it up here don’t you?’ Which I do actually.”

He joked that the fundraisers have since figured out that he went there, and haven’t been shy in contacting him about donations and giving.

Luke also explained that he didn’t drop out because he wasn’t smart enough to finish, he just didn’t care enough and had other aspirations on his mind:

“The fundraisers have figured out that I went there for sure. But that was a thing I honestly struggled with for a long time ’cause I did want to graduate.

I just don’t know honestly if I could have, you know? Maybe I’m dumb for saying this but, I don’t think I wasn’t smart enough to graduate, I just don’t think I was committed enough.”

Those science classes just weren’t doin’ it for him…

“There was nothing about it that made me want to be like, ‘Man, I just — I gotta get up and go to science class today.

Nothing about me wanted to go to math or science, you know what I mean? I was just more concerned with drinking and playing rugby and singing.”

And my favorite part of the interview was when he talked about telling his mom what he wanted to do, saying he “obviously can’t drink for a living,” but in a way, he kind of figured out how to, right?

I love his honesty… Luke is just such a down to Earth guy:

“I was like ‘Man, this is all stuff that I want to do.’

Obviously, you can’t drink for a living, so that was off the list and then I quickly realized I couldn’t play rugby for a living either and so there was really only one choice.

That left one thing.”

And that “one thing” would lead to him becoming the biggest thing in mainstream country, selling out arenas, a laundry list of #1 hits, winning all kinds of awards, and even performing at the Grammy Awards.

And I’m certainly not advocating that everybody just drop out of school, because obviously most of us ain’t Luke Combs, but it’s pretty damn cool to see how far he’s come, from a little mountain town in Appalachia to a worldwide superstar.

And without further ado, let’s go all the way back to 2011 at my favorite college bar of all-time, Ale House (formerly known as Town Tavern), where it all started for Mr. Combs…

Luke Combs Sings “Simple Man” At A College Bar In Boone, North Carolina

And things all came full-circle earlier this month at the 2023 Grammy Awards, when bar owner Justin Davis introduced Luke’s performance of “Going, Going, Gone”:

Luke’s fourth studio album Gettin’ Old will be out everywhere on March 24th, and includes 18 songs in total, right around seven months since the release of his 3rd career studio album Growin’ Up was released.

Luke revealed the tracklist recently, which includes a cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” in addition to an Eric Church co-write called “My Song Will Never Die.”

He previously released “Love You Anyway,” as well as the lead single “Growin’ Up and Gettin’ Old.”

Gettin’ Old Tracklist:

1. “Growin’ Up and Gettin’ Old” (Luke Combs, Rob Snyder, Channing Wilson)
2. “Hannah Ford Road” (Luke Combs, Jamie Davis)
3. “Back 40 Back” (Luke Combs, Ray Fulcher, Jeff Hyde, Driver Williams)
4. “You Found Yours” (Luke Combs, Thomas Archer, Dan Isbell, James McNair)
5. “The Beer, The Band, And The Barstool” (Luke Combs, Rob Williford, Reid Isbell)
6. “Still” (Luke Combs, Jamie Davis, Ray Fulcher, Dan Isbell, Dustin Hunley)
7. “See Me Now” (Luke Combs, Kenton Bryant, Ray Fulcher, James McNair)
8. “Joe” (Luke Combs, Erik Dylan, James Slater)
9. “A Song Was Born” (Luke Combs, Casey Beathard, Dan Isbell, Reid Isbell)
10. “My Song Will Never Die” (Eric Church, Travis Meadows, Jonathan Singleton)
11. “Where The Wild Thigns Are” (Randy Montana, Dave Turnbull)
12. “Love You Anyway” (Luke Combs, Ray Fulcher, Dan Isbell)
13. “Take You With Me” (Luke Combs, James McNair, Rob Williford)
14. “Fast Car” (Tracy Chapman)
15. “Tattoo On A Sunburn” (Lukes Combs, Ray Fulcher, Ben Hayslip, Dan Isbell)
16. “5 Leaf Clover” (Luke Combs, Jessi Alexander, Chase McGill)
17. “Fox In The Henhouse” (Luke Combs, Jamie Davis, Dan Isbell, Dustin Hunley)
18. “The Part” (Luke Combs, Kenton Bryant, Ray Fulcher)

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock