Luke Combs says he experienced a "full circle" moment while watching Eric Church perform live during the CMA Awards on Wednesday (November 14th). As a huge fan of Eric's, Luke credits the singer/songwriter with literally changing the course of his life.

After winning his New Artist of the Year award, Luke told reporters backstage that he went to the same small North Carolina college that Eric attended, and even went with a friend to watch Eric play on campus early in his career. He said: ["I didn't give his music a chance that day, to be really honest with you, and a couple weeks later I said, 'You know what? I'm gonna give this guy's album a shot and I listened to it front to back and it really changed my outlook and changed a lot of things for me about country music. I was just a fan for three years and when I decided to pick the guitar up I said, 'You know what? If this guy went to college here and can be on stage at the CMAs winning CMA awards and getting Number One songs, I don't see why I can't do it,' and he really inspired me to have tunnel vision-like approach to what I wanted to do and I'm very lucky to have run into his music because I really don't think that I would be here without it."] SOUNDCUE (:42 OC: . . . here without it.)

Luke continues touring through December 31st in Birmingham, AL.

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