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Jason Aldean Enjoying the Career that Almost Didn’t Happen

Jason Aldean photo courtesy of Broken Bow Records.

Jason Aldean had a year to remember in 2011. His My Kinda Party album went double platinum, he chalked up several No. 1 hits, headlined one of the top country tours, and by year’s end, had a heap of award nominations and wins to his credit. By the time he was done accepting awards, he had run out of things to say.

“You get up there the first time and you don’t know how many more times you’re going to get up there, so you try to (thank) them all the first time,” Jason told the Post Crescent. “And then after that, you feel like you’re saying the same thing. But I’ll take it. I can get creative and come up with something to say.”

Of all the accolades Jason picked up in 2011, one award means a little more than the rest. “The one that really stands out to me the most is the CMA Album of the Year,” he said. “That was really the defining moment for us last year, for what it did for my career.”

Despite his success, Jason had all but given up on a career in the music industry. He moved to Nashville in 1998 in hopes of making it big as an artist. Six years and more than 40 showcases later, Jason was ready to call it quits and move back home. That’s when he landed his record deal with Broken Bow Records in 2004.

“I had actually gone as far as applying for jobs already back in Georgia,” he said to the paper. “I had a 6-month-old daughter. I felt like I had done everything I could possibly do and it just wasn’t going to happen, or at least it wasn’t going to happen right then. I had gone as far as [doing] everything but selling my house. Luckily, once I started doing that, all these other things started happening. It makes you appreciate it a lot more.”

Jason has never been afraid to release a song that might be a risk. “Don’t You Wanna Stay” was a duet with pop star Kelly Clarkson, while “Dirt Road Anthem” blurred the lines between country and rap music. Both went to No. 1 and earned him several awards and nominations. He likes to test the waters and make his own decisions, taking both his success and his failures on his own shoulders.

“It’s about changing it up, still making it me, still making it like I sound, but not being scared to step out of the box a little and try new things,” he said. “I always said if I’m gonna fail I want it to be on my terms, not because I had someone else calling the shots. I can live with me making a bad decision for myself. I can’t live with trusting someone else with my career and them screwing it up.’’

Jason is nominated for six ACM Awards, including Entertainer of the Year and Album of the Year in April. He just released his latest single, “Fly Over States,” to radio and is out on the road headlining his My Kinda Party Tour with special guests Luke Bryan and Lauren Alaina.

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