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Before the country music bug bit him and he began to learn to play the guitar at 21 years old, Luke Combs wanted to be something quite different from a country singer. He wanted to be a homicide detective.

Luke tells us that in high school, he immersed himself in singing and music, and that changed when he went to college. He said, “I went to college, and I didn’t really pursue that at all. I went to school to get a business degree, and then I switched to criminal justice because I wanted to be a homicide detective; that’s really where my heart was.”

In high school, it was his chorus teacher and her husband who told Combs that he had a gift for singing. He said, “I didn’t realize that my voice was any different or that everybody couldn’t sing until like ninth grade. It was really my chorus teacher who was like my school mom. I was in her class every day for the entirety of high school. And then, my senior year, I was her teaching assistant. So, I spent half my school day in her classroom. We were in a choir together at church; her husband was a band director in his class, so I was constantly around music.” Luke added, “They were two of the most instrumental parts of me building my confidence as a singer, and they really let me know that what I had was different than what a lot of people had.”

RELATED: Luke Combs Does Not Want To Be A Pop Star

One summer at home during his college years, his music destiny started to come together. Combs explained, “I was sitting at home one summer after my junior year; I was 21 years old, working the same job I worked in high school. All my friends were still in the college towns living, and so I didn’t have anybody around. So I was just moping around. My mom told me that Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw didn’t learn how to play guitar until they were 21.”

He continued, “I had a guitar my parents bought me in seventh grade that I never really played at all, never really messed with besides one or two guitar lessons that I hated because my parents wanted me to do it. And I picked it up. Taught myself that summer, sat on the porch all summer teaching myself how to play and just loved it.” Luke admits he wasn’t a very good guitar player, saying, “I played guitar horribly, but I knew if I sang good enough nobody would care how bad my guitar playing was and it really worked out for me.”

Country Stars Who Have Appeared On SNL

  • Luke Combs - Musical guest - February 2020

    Luke sang two songs on the show, including his big ole hit “Beer Never Broke My Heart.”

  • Morgan Wallen - Musical guest - December 2020

    Morgan sang two songs on the show and appeared in a skit along with Jason Bateman, who played Wallen at a party.

  • Kacey Musgraves - Musical Guest - October 2021

    Kacey Musgraves

    Ethan Miller/Getty Images 

    Kacey is the only artist to ever perform totally in the nude with just a guitar to cover her. Kacey told V Magazine after the performance, “It was an idea that hit me last minute. A lot of my ideas come like a lightning bolt with no explanation.” She added, “A couple of days [before the performance], I was getting a workout, and I had this image pop into my mind of Jenny from Forrest Gump, naked on a stool. I just thought, with ‘Justified,’ I had to do it.”

  • Carrie Underwood - Musical guest - March 2007

    Carrie Underwood

    Peter Kramer/Getty Images

  • Dolly Parton - Hosted and musical guest - April 1989

    Dolly was the musical guest and performed in many of the skits on the show as host. She later said it was pretty hard and that she would not ever host and be the musical guests at the same time again.

  • Garth Brooks - Hosted and musical guest - November 1999

    He hosted as Garth and was the musical guest as Chris Gaines.

  • Blake Shelton - Hosted and musical guest - January 2015

    The always-funny Blake was perfect for his hosting role, appearing in many skits on the show. In one skit, he played Disney character, John Smith.

  • Taylor Swift - Hosted and musical guest - November 2009

    Taylor was a natural and quite funny in many of the show’s skits. She hosted the show when she was just 19 years old.

  • Chris Stapleton - Musical guest - January 2016

    Chris did a fun promo for the show with Will Ferrell. He also performed two songs.

  • Faith Hill - Musical guest - October 200

    Besides singing, Faith even did a fun skit with host Sarah Michelle Gellar.

  • Willie Nelson - Hosted and musical guest February 1987

  • Johnny Cash - Hosted and musical guest - April 1982

    Cash did many skits and sang two of his classic songs.