Life really is what you make of it — something Jake Owen keeps in mind while on his Life’s Whatcha Make It Tour. Hours after his Chicago show Thursday night (Oct. 25) and hours before his Friday night (Oct. 26) West Virginia show, Owen talked to Taste of Country from his bus, sounding a bit tired.

"I've been trying so hard not to get sick, because something has been going around," he admits, "But I woke up today and was like ‘Oh man, I feel sick.'"

But it's not easy for an artist on a successful tour with a rising hit ("Down to the Honkytonk") to call in sick, so he continues on. His fans help him find the motivation to get to that next city, to play that next show.

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"There is so much going on in the world outside of music, so getting in front of my fans and letting them forget about life for a little while is the purpose of all of this," he says. "We give our fans the chance to let it all go, and that’s a powerful thing that we get to do every night we get out there."

Owen gained new perspective after 2017's Route 91 Harvest Festival. He was backstage when 58 country music fans were shot by a lone gunman in a nearby Las Vegas hotel — a massacre that left 800 people injured.

"It's something I think about all the time now, especially after last year being in Vegas," Owen says, speaking more quietly. "Ever since then, I’ve kinda recognized the real purpose of why we are doing all of this. Me and my team and my band were always grinding to whatever was next in my career, but now I really have a new perspective ..."

"We are just fine," he assures. "I’m proud of where we are and we are so blessed to do what we get to do. And that’s all that really matters."

So yes, Owen makes the conscious decision each and every day to remain present — a philosophy that is touched on in his fun-loving song "Down to the Honkytonk." But there is another reason he can’t get enough of the song, especially when he plays it live in front of a packed venue.

"I’m loving the fact that country music’s classic sound is starting to come back," he admits. "I’ve always loved classic country music and I think this song harkens back to that. It’s another example of being able to have a good time and letting go of life. That’s an empowering feeling. It’s all about having more fun."

Owen's Life's Whatcha Make It Tour wraps Nov. 3 in his home state of Florida.

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