Luke Combs has been hinting at a new album in the works, with the lead single for the as-yet-unannounced project, "Doin' This," currently climbing the charts. But the singer says he might have already released his next batch of music if he hadn't encountered some delays due to the unpredictable touring climate he faced in 2021.

"It's been a long process," Combs explained in a press event before his Sunday (Feb. 20) performance at the Daytona 500 in Daytona Beach, Fla. "I was working on it really hard before this tour we did in the fall."

But like any other artist, Combs had to face some unprecedented touring challenges in 2021. Amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, and the spikes of the delta and omicron variants of the virus, Combs had to turn his focus entirely on making sure his show could safely proceed. To make things even more difficult, touring during the pandemic was brand new territory for everybody — it wasn't as if he could call on someone who was an expert.

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"There was nobody to call for a lot of those stressful situations, where it was like, 'Hey, what do I do about this thing?'" he remembers. "'Hey, when this happened to you, what did you do?' There was none of that."

He decided to concentrate his efforts on making the best decisions to keep his tour running without canceled shows. "I kinda took a pause on working on [the album] because I just really wanted to focus on that tour," the singer goes on to say, pointing out that that hard work paid off.

"We didn't cancel one show. We had a lot of setbacks, you know — regulatory setbacks, things like that," Combs says, "But It was nice to be able to just focus on that, and that's been the reason the album's not out yet."

With that tour now in the rearview, Combs is eagerly anticipating the new music that lays ahead. "Man, it's just gonna be real good," he adds. "I've been working hard on it for a long time."

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