Luke Bryan Talks 'Ups & Downs' After COVID-19 Recovery, Winning Top Prize at ACM Awards

Luke Bryan
Jim Wright

Luke Bryan

Luke Bryan is on the mend after testing positive for coronavirus and being forced to miss the first live episode of American Idol last week.

In addition to his improving health and return to Idol on Sunday, Bryan also won entertainer of the year at the 2021 ACM Awards the same night -- an award he previously won in 2012 and 2014.

"I had two or three days. ... It was really, really tough and the boys were, I went to a whole different section of the house. I didn't see the boys for 10 days. ... That was tough," he told Extra on Monday (April 19) about missing his sons Thomas and Tatum. "I got just a little fatigue -- everybody says expect that. I'm just really, really happy to be back doing Idol. I was heartbroke to miss last week."

Fellow Idol judge Lionel Richie joked that he and Katy Perry felt "so good about having our official germ back with us," while Bryan applauded his temporary replacement and original Idol judge Paula Abdul for filling in. "It was amazing sitting home and watching her fill in," the country singer joked. "I was really honored when I found out she was coming in to help the old germ out."

Bryan was on the set of Idol when he found out he won entertainer of the year for a third time at the 56th annual ACM Awards. Although he wasn't able to be there in person, the "Little Less Broken" artist thanked God for his "health" and his latest accolade and his wife Caroline Boyer for "nursing me back to health."

"I was very fortunate to not have a long set of symptoms. … It was still quite challenging for a couple of days," he reflected in the interview, adding that the pandemic overall has added more challenges to his plate. "I’m not going to say I haven’t had ups and downs and bouts of depression. … Winning entertainer of the year is certainly one of those things where you are like, 'Thank you, God. Thank you, fans.'"