At a VIP pre-concert in Georgia, American country music singer and songwriter Luke Bryan was happily surprised to see his old next door neighbor Bernice. Between songs, the singer was talking about doing a summertime outdoor show with air conditioning.
“We have always done outdoor shows here, so we finally felt like, maybe one day in the summertime, we would let you all have a little air conditioning.”
Luke proceeded to tell his audience about his thoughts. As he continued speaking, though, several people from the audience began yelling out to him, “She loves you!” He smiles and says, “I love you too. Now how old are you?” When someone from the audience yells again, “Eighty-eight! She’s your old neighbor.” A man’s voice is also heard saying, “Bernice Williams.”
Luke Bryan then looks out into the audience and asks in disbelief, “Bernice Williams?” As the audience yells, “Yeah!” the singer puts his guitar down and quickly steps off the stage, walks towards his old neighbor and gives her a hug saying, “It’s good to see you! Are you good?” Bernice Williams hugs him back saying, “I’m just old.” The delighted crowd applauds and cheers, moved by the touching reunion.
Luke turns around and steps back onto the stage, and while the audience is still cheering, he explains, “Now people say they’re you’re neighbor, but she is like, like my neighbor,” he says, putting his two fists side by side. “Like, her house, my house. Not like house in between us,” Luke continues explaining, holding his two hands apart, “Yeah like that. Like my dogs ate her cat food.”
The country singer grew up on a farm in Leesburg, Georgia. His father had a peanut and fertilizer company where Luke used to work at. According to Luke, it was his mother that encouraged him to sing. He was given his first guitar when he was 14 years old. He began to sit in with local bands that played country music and at 16 years old, he began to write music. It was his father who told him to move to Nashville instead of working with the family business. He performed at local clubs and eventually was offered a record deal. Many of his songs hit number one on the charts until he was named Entertainer of the Year in 2009.
Fame does many different things to different people. For Luke Bryan, it made him even kinder and more humble.
Luke’s touching reunion with Bernice Williams only shows how big a heart he has and how he has not forgotten the people he grew up with.