Luke Bryan made an unforgettable moment for Make-A-Wish kid Ethan Payne when he invited the young musician to sing a duet at his AT&T Stadium show in front of 50,000 fans. The unplanned duet eventuated after the 13-year-old impressed Bryan when he played one of the country star’s songs at a pre-show meet and greet in Arlington, Texas.
Bryan then asked Ethan to join him onstage that night at the packed stadium show to sing his hits “Do I” and “Here’s to the Farmer”. The pair both donned acoustic guitars and sang together on the songs, and Ethan stepped up to the plate in a big way by singing a beautiful lead vocal on “Do I” as Bryan sang back-up. Make-A-Wish North Texas uploaded the video on their YouTube channel and it has since been viewed 3.8 million times.
Before Ethan hit the stage, Bryan told the audience that “I swear I did not plan this. But [at the meet and greet] I saw a young man with a Make-A-Wish badge on. He takes his guitar out and he sings me one of my songs and he does it perfectly. And I said ‘Would you like to sing that song in front of 50,000 people tonight?’ and he said ‘Yes sir.’”
Bryan wasn’t fibbing when he said that Ethan did the song perfectly. He is a truly talented young man and an excellent guitarist and vocalist. At the age of just 18 months, Ethan was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, and when he was 13, he wrote to Make-A-Wish to ask if he could meet his favourite singer. Believe it or not Ethan got to sing with Bryan again several years later, this time as a 15-year-old on American Idol, as you can hear below.
Bryan was a judge on the show when Ethan turned up for an audition, and of course the big-hearted star decided to reprise his viral duet with the young talent. While talking to American Idol, Ethan recalled his appearance in Texas with Bryan, saying “I felt like the whole world had just shut down and it was on me and him. My heart genuinely exploded and I wanted to cry, and then he gave me his guitar that he’s had for years.”
Ethan added that Bryan told him “‘This is gonna change your life – you’ll never be the same.’ and here I am now. It’s true.” Fittingly, the teen brought Bryan’s guitar to his American Idol audition and made it really sing for the judges. His audition also showcased his impressive growth as a guitarist and vocalist.
The kid is also a natural entertainer and began the audition by rizzing up judge Katy Perry, to which she replied “Ethan you are 15 going on 30”, to which he quipped “They always said I had an old soul.” Ethan has continued his original music career to this day and regularly shares his songwriting with the world through his live shows and YouTube channel. If you would like to see more from Ethan Payne, you can subscribe to his YouTube channel or follow him on Facebook.