Slow and steady wins the race and Jason Aldean is proof of the old adage. Ever since Jason’s self-titled debut in 2005, he has slowly been working his way up the ladder, scoring hit songs and platinum albums along the way. 2011 turned out to be his year, as his My Kinda Party album, released in November of 2010, catapulted him to new heights.
My Kinda Party went double platinum and was the top-selling country album of 2011. The album was named the CMA Album of the Year as well as iTunes’ Country Album of the Year and came in at No. 4 on Billboard’s all-genre Top 200 Albums of 2011 chart. It produced three consecutive No. 1 hits, including “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” “Dirt Road Anthem,” and “Tattoos On This Town.”
“When we did our annual holiday party, we had more to be thankful for and celebrate than we ever have before,” Jason said. “It’s really cool to be experiencing some of this stuff with a lot of the same guys who have been with me since I started in 2005. We’re definitely a family, and that has made the whole experience even more special.”
While industry awards have alluded Jason in previous years, 2011 changed that. He picked up two CMA Awards for Album of the Year and Musical Event of the Year for “Don’t You Wanna Stay” with Kelly Clarkson, won six American Country Awards, including Artist of the Year, and won the Breakthrough Award at the Billboard Touring Awards. Jason was nominated for 20 total awards in 2011, including three for the 2012 GRAMMYs.
One of his biggest accomplishments came in touring, however. Jason’s My Kinda Party Tour played to over one million fans and sold out more than 50 arenas and amphitheaters in advance. The tour was named to the Billboard Top 25 Tours of 2011 list, coming in at No. 24, one of just four country acts to make the cut.
“This was our first major, major tour, where we jumped in with Tim McGraw and Keith Urban and played the same venues,” he told USA Today. “Where we were looking at this being our learning-curve year, we went in and blew it up. It wasn’t something we expected, but it was good it did.”
While new on the scene, The Band Perry endured a similar uptrend in their career as Jason. The sibling trio entered 2011 fresh on the heels of their first No. 1 hit with “If I Die Young” and didn’t look back. The single ended up going triple platinum and almost a year after it reached the top spot on the country charts, it reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary Chart in November.
The awards started rolling in for The Band Perry as well. They were award the ACM for Top New Vocal Group or Duo and went on to win the ACM for Best New Artist. At the CMA Awards in November, they took home the CMA for Best New Artist as well as Single of the Year for “If I Die Young.” Kimberly Perry also won Song of the Year for writing “If I Die Young.” They ended the year with a GRAMMY nomination in the all-genre category of Best New Artist.
“We are excited and honored beyond belief,” the group said in a statement after receiving their GRAMMY nod. “A Grammy nomination is like a gold star from the people you most look up to.”
The band spent 2011 touring with Tim McGraw and Reba McEntire and will hit the road with Brad Paisley in early 2012. They will also headline the historic Ryman Auditorium in February. The group sold the venue out in 20 minutes.
“We are so excited to headline the Ryman, which holds a very special place in the heart of everyone in country music,” they said. “It truly is an amazing experience to step on that stage – we can’t wait to spend a whole evening there, sharing our stories and becoming a part of its history.”
Both The Band Perry and Jason Aldean have begun work on their next albums. Jason has extended in his My Kinda Party Tour into 2012. Both artists have already been announced as performers for 2012′s CMA Music Festival.