When Luke Bryan became a judge on American Idol, he didn't expect it to affect him the way it has. The country star says his time on the show has made him a better parent and given him a heart for many of the contestants.
"I didn’t realize that when I signed up for this that I would lay in bed at night wondering about these kids and praying for their well-being," Bryan told People. "Being the fatherly figure, I’ve learned that there are many struggles kids are going through these days. It’s taught me that if I see some of these things in my kids, it’s a real thing."
Bryan and his wife Caroline are the parents of two sons, 11-year-old Bo and 9-year-old Tate. They've also been the guardians of their nephew Til and two nieces, Jordan and Kris ever since the Bryan's sister and brother-in-law died.
"I have my way I raise my kids, but that doesn’t mean they’re not going to have mental-health problems. This show has taught me a broader view of what kids are dealing with in society," the country singer added. "I just relish the opportunity to mentor these kids and mentor them through this crazy journey."
Bryan, who's had to go through some hardships in life himself, has been able to connect with some of the American Idol contestants who've shared their stories on the show. "With me and what I've dealt with, I see myself in some of these kids," Bryan says.
"You just have to trust in God’s plan," he continues. "You wake up every day and go, 'I’ve had unfortunate things in my life. I just have to trust that that’s how God wanted it.' That’s how I cope. Sometimes I cope well, but sometimes life does get me down."
"Going forward, I just have to try and keep it real and appreciate every day, appreciate where I’m at in my career and hopefully honor my family by my actions," Bryan added. "The beauty with my losses in my life is that my career has been a bright spot. My family and I have had so many wonderful moments because of my success."
American Idol season 18 premieres Sunday (February 16) at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on ABC.
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