Earlier this week, American Idol fans were disappointed and surprised when judge Luke Bryan had to announce that he wasn't going to be able to make the first live episode of Season 19. Bryan let fans know that he'd been diagnosed with COVID-19, and while he was on the mend, he hadn't been cleared to head back to the studio. Now, Bryan has had to leave yet another gig behind this week, as he's also been forced to pull out of performing at the ACM Awards.
According to The Tennessean, which got confirmation from a representative for Luke Bryan, the country music star will no longer be performing at Sunday night's ceremony. It was just earlier this month that Bryan was announced to perform at the long-running award show along with over two dozen artists, who still include Maren Morris, Jimmie Allen, Little Big Town, Kane Brown, and Blake Shelton, along with show hosts Mickey Guyton and Keith Urban. The show will air live from Nashville from three venues, the Bluebird Café, Ryman Auditorium, and the Grand Ole Opry House.
While Luke Bryan's judging duties on American Idol were taken over by last minute replacement, and former long-time Idol judge, Paula Abdul, there's been no word yet on whether or not another artist will fill in and perform in Bryan's place for the ACM Awards. The singer is likely disappointed at having to back out. Even though he's often found himself at or near the top of the country music charts since releasing his debut single, "All My Friends Say," in 2007, his profile was likely raised quite a bit by joining American Idol as a judge for the reboot in 2018.
During his career, Bryan has had 23 number one hits across 10 albums, and sold over 15 million albums and 60 million singles worldwide. In 2013, he was also named Entertainer of the Year by both the Country Music Association and the ACM Awards. Bryan is up for two awards at this year's ceremony, Entertainer of the Year and Album of the Year, which would be for his 2020 release "Born Here Live Here Die Here."
There's been no word so far on when Luke Bryan received his diagnosis or what kind of symptoms he may have had at the time. We're also not sure right now when he might be fully healthy again and given the go ahead to both perform and return to the American Idol stage and the live shows. Co-judge Katy Perry was asked about it earlier this week, though, and made it sound like she thought he could be back to his old self and able to return pretty soon. But, until we hear an update from Bryan himself, we should all just be thankful he was able to catch his diagnosis and seems to be healing up well.
The ACM Awards will air on CBS and Paramount+ on Sunday, April 18 at 8 p.m. EST.