Country star Luke Bryan made a young autism sufferer's dreams come true recently after calling in to a local New York radio station for a special chat.
Four-year-old Riley, who is a huge fan of Bryan's, had been invited to tour the studio of 107.7 Wgna after his mother Marjorie wrote in to station chiefs to gush about the singer's gig in Saratoga Springs earlier this month (Aug14) and the positive impact his music had had on her son, who suffers from Asperger's syndrome, which affects the way he interacts socially.
She wrote in part, "When Riley pretends to be Luke, he is a whole other person. He is not afraid or shy. He has confidence and feels free...
"I just want Luke and all other artists to know that their music is a powerful thing and truly helps those with disabilities to express themselves and get through rough parts of their day."
Radio bosses decided to contact Bryan himself and alert him to the touching message, and organised for the Drunk On You hitmaker to phone in to the studio during Riley's visit.
The singer recalled seeing Riley at the show and reading the message on his T-shirt, which stated, "Luke Bryan Is One of the Pieces to My Puzzle" - a reference to the autism mantra "Until All the Pieces Fit".
He told the young fan, "I remember reading that shirt from stage and I didn't know 'You're the piece to my puzzle' was an autism statement. I just thought, 'Well that's an interesting thing to put on a shirt'.
"The fact that my music can make some stuff a little easier for you, is what it's all about."