by Jessica Nicholson
Luke Combs has had a string of hits on country radio, from his 2017 breakthrough “Hurricane” to his most recent, “Forever After All.” But for Combs, his 2019 No. 1 hit “Beautiful Crazy” is one of the songs that means the most to him, both personally and professionally.
Combs recently joined The Artist and the Athlete with Lindsay Czarniak alongside former Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, where he discussed the song’s impact on his life.
“Beautiful Crazy” earned Combs a Country Music Awards trophy for Song of the Year in 2019, an honor he called, “the number one thing on my bucket list, besides being a member of the Grand Ole Opry.”
He wrote “Beautiful Crazy” about his now-wife, Nicole Hocking, while they were early on in their relationship. While he was visiting Hocking at her Nashville apartment one evening, he played the song for Hocking and one of her friends, hoping the touching love song would impress both Hocking and her friend.
“One of her friends was over there, so I was like, ‘Well this is perfect, because if I play it while the friend is over, there’s no way the friend is not going to think this is the sweetest thing that anyone’s ever done for someone.’”
He was quick to add that Hocking “loved it.”
“It was a total baller move, for sure. I’m not much of a ladies’ man, but I was pretty proud of this one,” Combs said.
The couple also shared their first dance at their wedding in 2020 to “Beautiful Crazy.”
“There’s no way that any other song will top that as far as sentimental value for me,” Combs said.
Combs is also known for being one of music’s most down-to-earth artists, even with a string of record-breaking songs and albums to his credit. He says that accessibility is critical, especially while on tour (pre-COVID, of course).
“I’m a firm believer in if you’re not a great leader or a great human being, that you don’t get very far for very long…we haven’t had almost any turnover in my camp and we haven’t in a number of years,” he said. “We have the same guys that we started with, barring one or two weird exemptions to that rule, but we’ve tried to keep everyone on that we possibly could from the start…because we are all in this together.
“As far as I’m concerned, when you walk into catering or into the backstage area you’re always seeing someone that you know and someone that you can talk to,” he continued. “Those guys all feel like they can talk to me, too, which I feel like is really important. I think a lot of backstage culture can be caustic in a lot of ways, where people are afraid to talk to the artist, because they don’t want to make them upset or make them angry, or look at them the wrong way, and I think that doesn’t last very long because you can’t thrive in that environment, when you are always watching your back or walking on eggshells around people…Here, everybody from the top down, they all know each other. You’re eating together, you’re doing stuff on your days off together. That culture, to me, is almost the most important thing you can have out on the road.”