ABC/Image Group LAFor Luke Bryan, “What Makes You Country” is more than just the title track of his latest album and likely the song that will be his next number one: it’s an anthem for folks just like him, who grew up in rural America.

“I love the song. It’s a statement song,” Luke says. “And I think people hear that and go, ‘Hell yeah! He’s speaking to me.'”

The Georgia-born son of a peanut farmer also views it as a reminder of his authenticity.

“It’s just about reassuring that I’m kinda stuck in my roots,” Luke explains. “And I mean, when I’m doing hunting shows and posting pictures of me and my boys — I mean, when I’ve got a seven-year-old that can throw a bait-caster halfway across a lake, hook a seven-pound bass, you know, that’s me being out there in the country with him teaching him how to do that. And that’s what I want my fans to see.”

Luke admits “What Makes You Country” is also a way to stand up to naysayers who’ve questioned whether he’s country enough.

“You know, if they hear that chorus — I got my dirt road cred when I was twelve, on a no-cab tractor hauling hay bales — which I did, and still do — and they still wanna call me not country, well, they’re just being ignorant,” he concludes.

This weekend, you can see how Luke is representing country music, as American Idol: A New Journey Beginspremieres Sunday at 4 p.m. ET on ABC, before the Oscars. The half-hour special previews the new season of Idol, which premieres Sunday, March 3 at 8 p.m. ET.

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