Green tractors and flyover states: the Jason Aldean story

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Country music is a huge genre in the United States, and is perhaps the most popular genre that there is in the country today. There are all different kinds of sub-genres within the genre: from red dirt country and rhinestone country to outlaw and bro country.

Bro country is the sub-genre of country music which, over the past decade, has really brought country music into the mainstream. It is the reason why people who never would have ever listened to country – people from New York, New Jersey, California, and even Oregon – are becoming big fans of it today.


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Bro country is characterized by a couple of things. It is characterized by idealizing drinking, women in cut off jeans, huge pickup trucks, and of course, the eponymous drive down a long country back road to a bonfire in the middle of a corn field.

This idealized image painted by bro country is geared towards a certain demographic – mainly, bros. The frat boys and people who strive to be like them. Those people who want to have a simpler version of fun, one which does not require hundreds of thousands of dollars like in rap videos. They would instead prefer the simplicity of a red cup and a keg out in the middle of the woods.

One of the princes of bro country (if not the king) is Georgia native Jason Aldean. Aldean, whose real last name is Williams, was born and raised in Macon, Georgia before he made it big. He has had his fair share of successes and setbacks, ups and downs, and of course, cheating scandals. In fact, one such scandal cost him his marriage.

His meteoric success has propelled him to the tops of the country music charts and our hearts. Which is why it is so heartbreaking that…

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Jason Aldean birth

Jason Aldean was born in down in Macon, Georgia in 1977. His birth name is actually Jason Aldine Williams. His parents, who separated when he was just three years old, lived just a state but a world away. Aldean was raised by his mother in Macon, Georgia while he would go live with his father in the summers in the town of Homestead, Florida. Homestead is just south of Miami.

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Name change

Jason Williams’s father Barry Williams was the one who got him into music, and was the first person to push him to perform. Barry got Jason a music consultant who would be able to help the young man succeed in the music industry. The consultant, named Monte C. Willis, suggested that Williams change his name to Jason Aldean. There was already a Jason D. Williams country singer, and Willis didn’t want people to confuse the two.

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One of the top country musicians

Today, Jason Aldean is one of country music’s top billed musicians, and he is only getting bigger and bigger. Aldean’s first ever album reached number four on the Billboard Charts with its hit single Amarillo Sky. The man from Macon has since released hit after hit including Tonight Looks Good On You, Flyover States, Big Green Tractor, and many others. In fact, Jason Aldean has won over 25 awards and has been nominated for over 70 more.

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Las Vegas, 2017

Jason Aldean was one of the headliners for the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival in Las Vegas Nevada. He was on stage and was just starting to perform his hit song “When She Says Baby” when shooter on the 32 floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel began spraying a 20,000 strong crowd of fans with bullets. Several dozen people were killed and hundreds were injured in what was billed as the deadliest mass shooting in American history.

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Aftermath

Shortly after the incident, Jason Aldean took to Instagram in order to report than him and his crew were all safe but were very shaken up by the incident. He wrote “My Thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight. It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night.” However, many fans, some of whom were at the concert, were not satisfied.

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Jason Aldean: Coward?

Many people have criticized Jason Aldean for his handling of the situation which broke out in Las Vegas. As can be seen in multiple videos, shortly after the firing began, Jason Aldean could be seen fleeing the stage without saying a word. Many people took to social media to criticize this cowardice, saying that he should have stayed on stage until everyone was safe, or at least warn people to get down and tell them what was happening.

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Coming to his defence

However, there are many people who rushed to defend the actions of Jason Aldean. Many have pointed out that he probably thought that the gunfire was fireworks at first. Others speculated that his security team told him to run backstage as fast as he could and he was following directions. Still others argued that, for someone with two children and another one on the way, it was a very natural reaction to have.

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Performing in colleges

The first gigs that Jason Aldean was booked for was to play at colleges and bars. His first major gig was at Truman State University in Kirksville, MO. It was then that he was discovered by various songwriters who believed in him and thought that he would be a big hit. But it would only be after he was spotted performing at an Atlanta, GA nightclub called The Buckboard that his career really took off.

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Funding his career

One of the reasons why people are so drawn to Jason Aldean is because he is just like everyone else – an average guy with average guy problems (albeit with a lot more money). When Aldean was first starting out, the gigs he was playing were not enough to cover the bills. So, needing money, Aldean became a truck driver for Pepsi, delivering the soft drink to stores across the United States.

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First album

Jason Aldean’s first album is titled Jason Aldean and helped get the country star off to a great head start. The record sold over a million copies, there by going platinum. Additionally, the record had three singles on it, including Why, Hicktown, and Amarillo Sky. In fact, because of that album, Jason Aldean won the American Country Music Award for Best New Male Vocalist i 2005. And he was just getting started.

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Jessica Ussery

Jessica Ussery was Jason Aldean’s high school sweetheart. She was with him from the very beginning and stayed with him on through his rise to superstardom. Brittany decided to take Jason’s original last name Williams as opposed to his new name Aldean when she married the singer in 2001. The two were together for a long time, and when they felt it was right, the two decided to start a family.

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Daughters

Jessica and Jason Williams have two children together. They are daughters Keeley and Kendyl Williams. Keeley was born in 2003 while Kendyl was born in 2007. His two daughters are certainly growing up quickly, and this is something that Aldean mentioned in the pamphlet accompanying his disk Old Boots, New Dirt. Interestingly however, he does not mention the mother of his two children Jessica in the credits for his album which came out in 2014.

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The businesswoman

Jessica Ussery basically built up Jason Aldean’s career. Besides being his muse for his greatest love songs, Ussery was also handling everything on the business side for Aldean. She does all of the business that Jason himself does not want to do – from the calls to the finances. Meanwhile, as Jason once said in an interview to country music magazine The Boot, all he wants to do is “play music and meet my fans.”

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An affair

One day in 2012, a woman named Brittany Kerr caught the eye of by now country superstar Jason Aldean. He was at a bar when he walked over and started speaking to Kerr. Kerr, who was a Carolina Bobcats cheerleader at the time, had just been on American Idol. We’re sure that Aldean approached her to talk about music and not because she is a blonde bombshell. In any case, he leaned in to her, and the two started kissing.

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Caught

The issue with doing anything in the 21st century is that there will always be someone who recognizes you, always someone with a camera phone, and always someone willing to photograph you cheating. When Jason Aldean and Brittany Kerr started making out at The Den on the Sunset Strip, there was a person with phone in hand to capture the embarrassing moment. It looked like Jason Aldean had some serious explaining to do.

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American idol contestant

Brittany Kerr gained a little bit of notoriety on the set of American Idol. While she does have quite a good singing voice, this was not enough to satisfy all of the judges during her initial audition for American Idol Season 11. She was able to easily impress judges Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson, but she failed to wow over the third judge, Jennifer Lopez. However, she was still able to get a ticket to Hollywood for her rendition of Broken by Joss Stone.

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Leaving Jessica

It turns out that the kiss he shared with Brittany was just the start of something bigger. While he and his then wife Jessica decided that they would try to stick it out and attempt to save their marriage, the country couple simply was not meant to be. Interestingly, it was actually Jason who decided to call it quits on the marriage, citing irreconcilable differences in the divorce papers. He then left the woman who helped build him up.

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“Get over it”

Jason Aldean still deals with people who are upset at him for leaving his wife for Brittany Kerr. In fact, soon after the divorce, he decided to bring Kerr to the Country Music Awards, something which shocked the country music world. When pressed about the issue in 2016, Aldean says that people should “get over it.” He says that he will post a status about donating $5 million to a children’s hospital and people will still bring up his extramarital affair.

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Marrying Brittany

A couple of years after first kissing Brittany and a few months after divorcing his wife Jessica, Jason Aldean proposed to Brittany Kerr during a private tour of the San Diego Zoo. The two then got married in a destination wedding down in Mexico on the shores of the Caribbean Sea. Due to all of the controversy surrounding the courtship, Aldean and Brittany decided that they would hold a small, intimate ceremony.

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Pregnant

Brittany Kerr and Jason Aldean recently announced that they were getting ready to have a new addition to their growing family in a pregnancy announcement photo shoot. The couple are set to have a boy, and they decided that they would name their son Memphis. Despite not being from Tennessee, the couple want their child to be named Memphis due to the fact that it is a unique name and to pay tribute to Aldean’s hero Elvis Presley.

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Hit after hit

There is no doubt that Jason Aldean is one of the best country music singers of the current decade (arguably the last two decades). He has had radio hit after hit and has sold out concerts in venues all over the United States. His hits have created a following called Aldean’s Army. His many chart topping smash singles include songs such as Don’t You Wanna Stay, Dirt Road Anthem, and Tonight Looks Good On You.

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Bro Country

Jason Aldean has been criticized for some of his music, with people saying that the music he is putting out is not real country music, but is in fact a genre of music called Bro Country. Bro Country involves songs which are all about guys hanging out, girls in cut off blue jeans, making bonfires in the middle of cornfields, and just general drinking and partying. Detractors argue that the genre has gotten too far from country’s roots

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King of the Bro’s

Many people, including Billboard, have crowned Jason Aldean as the king of Bro Country. They credit him with starting the genre. But you know what, it works, and the producers in Nashville will more than likely try and keep the Bro Country flame alive for as long as possible. When asked about the glamorized version of farm and rural life that Bro Country portrays, Aldean said that those songs really accurtately portray life in a small town with nothing to.

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Buying the farm

Jason Aldean fulfilled one of his many dreams by going out and buying a 1,300 acre farm out on the outskirts of Nashville, TN. The farm has enough room to do anything Aldean’s heart desires – fish, hunt, dirt bike, camp, hike, and ride around on ATVs. The property is not his main home, and he likes to go up the farm with his family on the weekends to just get away from it all. But that all soon came to an end.

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Brittany puts her foot down

It turns out that Brittany was unable to stand the place. She actually absolutely hated it. Brittany seemingly did not like the fact that the place looked like a hunting lodge. While it may have been a paradise for a man, it certainly was not a place for little girls or wives. So, Jason Aldean sold the place, switching it out for a $5.35 million mansion situated on 120 acres of land in rural Columbia, TN.

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Not first brush with death

Las Vegas was not the first time people lost their lives at a Jason Aldean concert. A man who was walking along a highway in Indiana jumped in front of Jason Aldean’s bus, dying in the process. Another man in Cleveland was at a concert, slipped into a trash shoot, and his body was found in a landfill several days later. Additionally, a man took his own life in the bathroom at an Aldean concert in Atlanta.

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2013 CMT awards

Back in 2013, Jason Aldean was picked to host the Country Music Television Awards show, one of several country music awards shows in existence. He was a co-host with actress Kristen Bell (who we honestly had no idea was a country music fan). Jason Aldean opened up the awards show with a fiery country rendition of American Woman. And, just to make sure he was doing it right, Lenny Kravitz sang it wish him as a duet.

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Donating $660,000

Jason Aldean was performing all over the America to sold out shows during his Burn It Down Tour. He ended his tour schedule with a giant concert in West Palm Beach, FL for his tenth annual Concert for a Cure. It was after that concert that he donated an astounding $600,000 to the Susan B. Komen Foundation. He says he got into donating to breast cancer after watching his best friend’s wife struggle with the disease.

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Net worth

Jason Aldean is worth an astounding $110 million. He made the majority of his money through singles and records sales, many of which went either platinum or multi-platinum. According to Forbes Magazine, Aldean was making $1 million a day when he was on the 2017 tour schedule, promoting his album They Don’t Know. He also owns a hunting company which helps him bring in added revenues. Not bad for a guy from Macon

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Buck Commander

Jason Aldean is a part owner of the hunting superstore Buck Commander. The store is found primarily in the southwest, with locations in Texas, Missouri, New Mexico, and Wyoming. You can get anything your huntsman heart desires there, from shirts and hats to extremely durable Yeti coolers along with a whole bunch of different things you need for your backwoods hunting expedition.

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Bulldogs

Being from Georgia, Jason Aldean absolutely loves the University of Georgia. He has a tattoo of Georgia peaches on his arm, and loves anything and everything that has to do with the Bulldogs. He has Bulldog hats, jerseys, comforters, you name it. In fact, he says that one of the greatest moments of his life was going to a University of Georgia game and watching the Bulldogs take on the Clemson Tigers. He loves the team so much that he even has a bulldog pet named Athens after the town UGA is in.

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