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Luke Combs officially graduates to headliner status tonight, as he kicks off his sold-out Beer Never Broke My Heart arena tour in Birmingham, Alabama.

“You know, it takes time,” he reflects. “You gotta build your fan base, and do it the right way. And that takes you traveling all over the world and getting in front of your fans.”

The “Beautiful Crazy” hitmaker got a pretty good crash course in building an Entertainer-of-the-Year-worthy career, thanks to his opening spot this summer on Jason Aldean‘s High Noon Neon trek.

“The guy is very high-energy but also a pro: very calm and collected backstage,” Luke tells ABC Radio. “So yeah, it’s really cool to kinda get to watch him do his thing.”

When he’s not onstage, you can bet Luke will be writing songs for his next record — or for somebody else’s.

“I have writers out every weekend,” he explains. “So I’m out writing, not necessarily just for myself. But if I write something good, I would definitely pass it along.”

This weekend, Luke and openers LANCO and Jameson Rodgers continue on to Huntington, West Virginia on Friday night, before playing Greensboro, North Carolina Saturday.

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