Luke Bryan cancelled his appearance on Tuesday night’s live CMT Artists of the Year show after his brother-in-law, Ben Lee Cheshire, died on Saturday at the age of 46.

Luke Bryan Cancels CMT Performance

Bryan, who recently won the CMA for Entertainer of the Year, was forced to cancel in order to be with family and attend Cheshire’s funeral in Georgia on Tuesday. Cheshire was married to Bryan’s sister, Kelly, who died suddenly in 2007, and the two had three children, Jordan, Chris and Til.

Bryan is no stranger to family tragedy. A few years before Kelly died, Bryan’s older brother, Chris died in a car accident. In fact, Bryan has said that his siblings inspired him to write his hit song, “Drink a Beer.”

“I meet so many people, even this week a young girl said, I don’t even know if she’s old enough to drink, but she gets ‘Drink a Beer.’ She was like, ‘You know the fact that you sing about that with what you’ve been through helped me get over the loss of my brother.’… That’s what it’s all about to me…giving people that moment of helping getting through,” Bryan told Nightline in October.

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Lady Antebellum Perform “Drink A Beer”

To honor Bryan and his family, Lady Antebellum performed in his place at the CMT Artists of the Year concert, singing an emotional rendition of “Drink A Beer.” Other CMT Artists of the Year show attendees sent messages of love and well wishes to Bryan. Keith Urban spoke directly to Bryan in his acceptance speech for Artist of the Year, saying, “I want to send my love and prayers out to Luke and all your family tonight too, brother. You’re right here tonight, brother.”

Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood were joined by songwriter Chris Stapleton for the performance, which they dedicated to Bryan and his family.

“This is for you, Luke, and your family. We love you so much, and our thoughts are with you,” Kelley said.

 

Bryan thanked the trio for their acoustic performance on Twitter, and also thanked his fans for their support.

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