Luke Bryan Brings the CMA Awards ‘Up’ With His Sweet New Single
2021 CMA Awards host Luke Bryan played double duty during the awards show on Wednesday night (Nov. 10), treating the crowd to a rendition of his new single, "Up."
The country star provided one of the more intimate performances of the night, keeping a focus on the track's personal lyrics.
"Up" is the sixth single to come off of Bryan's Born Here Live Here Die Here album, following No. 1 hits like "Knockin' Boots," "One Margarita," "Down to One" and "What She Wants Tonight." The song hinges on the emotional power of the singer's considerable storytelling abilities, and when he released it, Bryan said its subject matter of home and young love was particularly close to his heart.
"It talks about what I love and what’s dear to me," he explained. "Add to that the fact that the songwriters used just a simple word as ‘up’ to create so many images is pretty special.”
Bryan, who's a two-time CMA Entertainer of the Year, hosted the show solo in 2021. It was his first time hosting the event, and was the first time since 2003 that the show had had just one host at the helm; in 2020, Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker split hosting duties.
The Country Music Association held the 2021 CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville. The show returned to the venue — its home since 2006 — after one year at Music City Center due to the COVID-19 pandemic.