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Luke Bryan Lights It Up on 2017 CMA Awards

Country superstar Luke Bryan graced the CMA Awards Wednesday night with not only a nomination for Entertainer of the Year, but a live performance of his latest single “Light it Up.”

Bryan is known for his uptempo live show, complete with his signature stage moves — booty shakes and all — but this performance saw Bryan in a more somber state. Unlike danceable past hits such as “Move,” “That’s My Kind of Night” and “Country Girl (Shake It for Me)” and the tear-jerking “Drink a Beer,” “Light it Up” fits in the space between.

Similar to his single “Strip it Down,” “Light it Up” relies on drum loops and sparse instrumentation before a soaring pop chorus. Though it fits well in radio single format (and currently rests at No. 8 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart), “Light it Up” doesn’t allow for Bryan to showcase his best assets in a live setting. Besides pacing back and forth and trying his best to emote the feelings of the track, there wasn’t much else from the usual spectacular Bryan.

Following the performance, Bryan was featured on a commercial for American Idol, which he will debut as a judge in March 2018. “I’ve lost, I’ve hurt but you’ve got to go try things,” Bryan says in the ad. “I can’t wait to make someone else’s dreams come true.”

Besides “Light it Up,” Bryan has been leaking songs from his forthcoming album What Makes Your Country, including “Most People are Good” and the title track.

Remember: The best way to watch the CMAs is on TV, with ToC on your phone!

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