June 11, 2014 12:00 PM

It’s a steamy morning in Miami, and Luke Bryan pulls up in his 1972 Ford Bronco convertible, hopping out in flip-flops, camo shorts and shades. He’s trim and bronzed, unshaven, his hair a little rumpled after waking up on his bus a short time ago. You could mistake the 37-year-old for a college kid rolling home after an all-nighter – or a Luke Bryan show. But just a few minutes later he’s a man transformed. In tight jeans and a sexy V-neck tee, the multiplatinum superstar steps out onto the patio and playfully demonstrates a few of his famous dance moves for the camera – then has a good laugh at himself and shows us why he’s not only country music’s current king but also PEOPLE Country’s Sexiest Man 2014. “It’s flattering, it’s awesome,” he says of the honor, while poking a little fun at former title holder, pal Blake Shelton. “I’m a lot better-looking than Blake!” he quips. “Blake’s going to have to pluck his eyebrows a bit – his eyebrows cost him this. I have perfect eyebrows!” Not that he’s letting it go to his head. Wife Caroline “doesn’t let me get too big-headed about all this,” he says, “but she thought it was cool. The fact that I’ve worked my way up to numero uno, we giggle about it.” To celebrate his win, we sat down with the singer to talk about all things Luke….

When are you at your happiest? “When I’m out on the road and my sons Bo [6] and Tate [3] and my wife, Caroline, are with me, because I’m doing what I love and I’m not having to be away from my family. When we’re all out there together, we play with them all day and then I get to go onstage.”

What do you find sexy in a woman? “Confidence, the ability to wing it and the ability to get fancied up and pretty. I love the whole girl-next-door thing, the whole thing of you know you’re pretty but not going too far with it.”

How do you like to compliment Caroline? “It’s that right moment where she’s pretty in the morning and didn’t mean to be. Or when I know she’s worked on finding an award-show dress and getting glammed up – her reveal of that. It’s fun that we get to do this business and get dressed up a lot. She spends quite a bit of time on making sure her dresses are what she wants, and I know she’s excited that first moment I see her, so I make sure to let her know how pretty she is.”

What’s a perfect date with her? “Just having the time for a date is pretty much enough for me. We rode out to our farm [south of Nashville] and walked around and had a glass of wine and looked at everything we’re building out there. It really wasn’t a date – we didn’t even plan it, but we had a good time. It’s nice when there’s spontaneity in it.”

What gets you laughing? “Watching my boys do cute stuff—Tate had a baseball game yesterday, and he was running the wrong way and doing all these things that had everybody in the stands just cracking up laughing. I don’t know if he knows how cute he is, but he’s having fun.”

What do you do that never fails to make Caroline and the boys laugh? “When the boys are getting out of the shower, Caroline is always playing music and we’ll all be dancing in the bathroom naked and cutting up.”

What might you be dancing to? “Oh Lord, there ain’t no telling. Bo’s been hooked on ‘Gangnam Style,’ which is a has-been kind of deal, but it doesn’t matter to kids; Bo still loves it. So we were dancing to that in the bathroom the other day.”

What do you consider your biggest vice? “I guess sometimes I’m like, ‘I need to have a couple days off from drinking.’ It’s not that I drink a lot—I just drink maybe two beers a day, every day, for three months. And then I just need to take a couple days off. And I love a vodka grapefruit after a show, and I’ll take a few days off from that. But beer is definitely a vice, because you drink too much and it shows on your body.”

What would Caroline say is your worst habit? “Hmm … there are so many! Probably talking on the cell phone. Or answering it during dinner. The best thing for me is to leave it in the car, and then I know I won’t answer it. Whenever I’m like, ‘I left my phone in the car,’ she’s like, ‘Ooh – special!'”

What’s your pet peeve? “Running late or showing up late to something. I’m a bit of a hypocrite on that these days – I used to never be late, but now I’ve learned to be fashionably late. I can get away with it! But if I have a fishing trip planned and I’ve worked all day to get the boat ready, and we get on the boat and people are late, and we have to turn around and pick them back up, that kind of gets me.”

Are you good at DIY? “When I take the time to do it. I consider myself pretty handy. In our old house I built this stone wall out of pavers and leveled it and really did a nice job with that. And I went and bought a pressure washer. My truck would get so muddy at the farm that when I’d get home to the house, it would muddy our whole driveway, so I pressure wash the driveway quite a bit. But if I need to do something like take a disposal off and clean it out, I can do all that stuff.”

What’s a perfect Sunday to you? “Getting up and having a Sunday breakfast, probably a Sunday at the beach, cooking and going out on the boat, fishing with friends. Cleaning some fish, cooking them up for everybody. It’s fun when I take the boys fishing, and I’ll tell them as we cook them up, ‘This is the one you caught.’ That’s a neat thing. I can’t get them to hardly eat anything, but when they find out they assisted in the whole process, they really do try. Even in the garden, if they pick a tomato, we’ll cut it up and they’ll try it at least.”

What’s your guilty pleasure? “Popcorn. Movie popcorn definitely. I do not go to the movies without getting popcorn. I’ll indulge big time – so much so that I’ll get all swollen up!”

Do you carve out “you” time at home? “I’ll drink coffee in the morning and sit at my computer and read headlines. Just kind of brushing up on news.”

What do you wear around the house? “Workout shorts and a T-shirt. I do have an old bathrobe from the MGM Hotel in Las Vegas. It’s from when I won ACM Best New Artist [in 2010]. Charles Kelley threw me in the pool, and they gave us these bathrobes, and I still wear it.”

What do you wear to sleep? “Just comfortable underwear. I have these Under Armour camo underwear, but they’re a larger size, they’re the wrong size, so they’re really, really comfortable. They’re not tight. The Under Armour I wear daily are tight and good for working out and running, but these are looser and nicer to sleep in.”

What’s the best gift you’ve given to Caroline? “Our beach house in Florida was the best thing ever. She was like a kid at Christmas. It was something she had always dreamed of, and I’ve never seen her happier than the morning we pulled up to it. I’ll never forget how excited she was.”

What’s the fanciest car you’ve ever bought? “I don’t want to say it! Me and Caroline bought a Maserati—but it was a used one. It was supposed to be for me, but Caroline started driving it and she kind of liked it. But I just sold it. The roads on our farm are gravel, and that’s not good for a Maserati. And we don’t have garage space right now.”

How often do you get perks for being famous? “Heck, about every dadgum day. In Vegas I was able to gamble in a private room with George Strait. That was a pretty damn cool perk.”

What’s the most exotic place you’ve visited? “I went to the Amazon on a peacock bass fishing trip last year. It was amazing. It was middle of nowhere in the jungle, and we were all in a little lodge. I took Spanish in high school, and I think we tried out some Spanish terms, and they were looking at us like we were idiots since they spoke Portuguese!”

What’s your dream vacation? “My wife and I got married in Turks and Caicos, and we love it there, but as far as going way off somewhere, I don’t like the whole ‘lost in translation’ feel. When I go on vacation, I like hopping in my car and getting what I need. And we want to really use our beach house. I don’t want to be someone who buys a vacation home but then vacations in Italy.”

Where is your favorite place? “When I’m at my farm where we are building our new home, I’ll stand up on the top level of the house and look out over the fields and imagine how pretty it’s going to be when we’re done. It’s really, really neat. It’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of, and it’s very emotional for me. It’s very spiritual and I’m very proud of it.

Are you a guy who isn’t afraid to cry? “Yeah. I’ll watch something, or if I tell a story to someone and it’s a real sweet deal, it will make my eyes water up. I cried when I did ‘Drink a Beer’ in the studio. If the kids say something sweet, like listening to them say a prayer or watching them do the blessing, that will get me teared up. But that’s what life is about, embracing those moments.”

Do you have a favorite quote? “My dad always said, ‘Do it right the first time and you won’t have to do it again.’ That always stuck with me.”

What did your parents teach you? “My mother taught me love, definitely. And my father taught me about being a man, being a southern gentleman, being a strong presence.”

How do you feel about growing older? “That’s a tough thing for me. Joints aching and feet hurting – Blake and I talk about that. We work a lot, and it takes its toll. You don’t bounce back from injuries like you used to. And I don’t like seeing my parents moving slower. I hate that about it. But the wisdom of age, and not feeling like I’m having to scramble 24/7, not having to wonder if I can ever make a difference, that’s the nice thing about being older. Caroline always says growing old is a privilege, so whenever I’m bellyaching about a birthday coming up, she corrects me real quick.”

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