Country

Luke Bryan on the Heartbreaks, Hangovers & Nashville Greats That Inspired 'Land of a Million Songs': Exclusive Video

Luke Bryan
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 Luke Bryan performs onstage for day 1 of the 2017 CMA Music Festival on June 8, 2017 in Nashville, Tenn. 

Capitol Nashville superstar Luke Bryan is riding high as 2017 comes to an end, as his new album What Makes You Country is poised to make a No. 1 debut on the Top Country Albums chart as well as the Billboard 200 following its Dec. 8 release?

Critics are calling the sixth studio record the best of his career, with many pointing to “Land Of A Million Songs” as one of the top tracks. In a Billboard-exclusive video, Bryan talks about what inspired the song -- which has a deep meaning to him and his beginnings.

“'Land Of A Million Songs' tells the story and the struggles of Nashville songwriters and Nashville artists," Bryan tells Billboard of the tune. "To call Nashville the' land of a million songs,' it's probably the land of ten million songs when you look at the history and the heroes. I think about [Kris] Kristofferson and Willie [Nelson] and all these guys when I hear this song, struggling and paving the way for somebody like me."

Bryan goes on to reminisce on the early days of his career, which involved "stumbling out of bars" but then waking up inspired and writing a song. "Nothing is better than being in Nashville," he says.

The "Play It Again" crooner wrote the song with Jody and Jeff Stevens, and it was an idea that he says spawned from a "lightbulb" moment during a break in a writing session. They wrote half of the song together then left it to "let it marinate," as Bryan puts it, but then days later Bryan received a call from the guys that they had finished a demo.

"I heard what they had done from the second verse out, and I started tearing up in my bed," Bryan recalls. "I called Jeff and I said, 'I think this may be the best song we’ve ever written together.'"

Watch Bryan discuss "Land of a Million Songs" below.