by Marcus K. Dowling
Following being named the Country Music Association’s Male Vocalist of the Year in 2020, Luke Combs has finally made his musical entry into 2021 via his new single, “Forever After All.” The song was originally released as an album track from the Academy of Country Music’s 2020 Album of the Year What You See Is What You Get.
The announcement was made via an Instagram post borrowing a photo from Combs’ August 1, 2020, beachfront Southern Florida wedding to Nicole Hocking. Regarding his nuptials, Combs said in a November interview that “it was heavy, in the best way.” He continued, “I didn’t know I was gonna cry that much, but I did, I did. I was like the doubled-over crying guy.”
“Forever After All” has already debuted at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, making it the highest ever entrance for a male country solo artist. With a surge from radio airplay, it is entirely likely that the wedding ballad will be Combs’ 11th consecutive Billboard Country Airplay number-one hit. This extends the run throughout his six-year career as a mainstream recording artist.
As Combs’ success grows, reflection on his evolution is important. From a 2018 Forbes interview, the size and scope of his development become apparent. As he notes to interviewer Lauren Black, “It’s been awesome to have gotten to do all of this. To go from playing a chicken wing restaurant in Asheville, the Wild Wing Cafe, to selling out PNC Music Pavilion in Charlotte, where I used to go see concerts when I was a kid, is absolutely mind-blowing. Having 20,000 people buy tickets, that is insane to me.”