Luke Bryan made an appearance on one of Ellen DeGeneres’ final shows of her long run on the Ellen DeGeneres Show on Wednesday (May 18), and the country superstar revealed that he suffered a panic attack before making his first appearance on the show more than a decade ago.
In the clip below, Bryan tells DeGeneres that he’s “honored” to be among her final run of guests as she brings the long-running television staple to a close after 19 years. Asked if he remembered his first appearance on the program, he admitted, “I was freaking out.”
Bryan’s first time on the show took place in November of 2011, when he served as DeGeneres’ special correspondent on the red carpet at that year’s CMA Awards. It was also his first time performing on the awards show, and Bryan admits that the pressure really got to him as a younger artist.
“You know, when you’re a country person, you don’t want to admit that panic attacks are all on ya,” Bryan explains, adding that as his limo took him to the nerve-wracking show, he really began to feel the strain.
“I didn’t realize so much pressure was on me until I could not breathe in the limo,” he shares. “And then, I’m claiming, you know, that we need to let the windows down, you know. My wife’s there, and she’s like, ‘Luke, this is called a panic attack.’ And I’m like, ‘It’s not called a panic attack … get me some oxygen!'”
Bryan recalls that multiple Ellen producers were calling him because he wound up being late to hosting the red carpet, but he regained his footing in the most country way possible.
“I chugged a bunch of whiskey … and then I did the red carpet. I got through it,” he says with a smile, joking, “Hey, entertainment’s a grueling little business!”
Elsewhere in the interview, Bryan talks about his current run of shows in Las Vegas, how he inherited his interest in gambling from his dad and the current season of American Idol. He ends the spot by raising a beer to the beloved TV talk show host — a can of his own Two Lane beer.
The series finale of the Ellen DeGeneres Show is slated to air on Thursday, May 26.
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