Jason Aldine Williams (born February 28, 1977 in Macon, Georgia) is an American country music singer, known professionally as Jason Aldean. He has recorded three albums on the independent Broken Bow Records label: Jason Aldean, Relentless, and Wide Open, in 2005, 2007, and 2009 respectively.
These albums have accounted for nine singles on the Billboard country singles charts, including the Number One hits "Why", "She's Country", and "Big Green Tractor". His first album, Jason Aldean, is certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, his second album, Relentless, is certified gold, and his third album Wide Open is certified platinum.
Aldean's parents, Barry and Debbie, divorced when he was three. He was raised by his mother, mainly in Macon, Georgia. During the summer he would spend time with his father in Homestead, Florida.
Before going to work during the day, his dad would map out guitar chords on notebook paper to show Jason where to place his fingers to play the chords. Jason sat and practiced all day while his dad was at work. When his dad got home, he got out his own guitar and they played together. Soon, after hearing a song only a few times, he could play it. His early favorites included George Strait's "The Cowboy Rides Away", Hank Williams Jr.'s "The Blues Man", and Alabama's "My Home's in Alabama". Both parents encouraged young Jason as he progressed musically. From age 14, after watching the country-music awards on TV, he wanted to perform on stage. With his mother's help, he performed at the local VFW hall in Macon, Georgia. He sang John Anderson's song "Seminole Wind" and Tracy Lawrence's "Sticks and Stones". He would later say that the entire audience — all ten — applauded, and that he almost had to be dragged off the stage because he was hooked on performing. He began performing at area talent contests and local fairs. At 15, he joined the "house band" at the Macon, Georgia nightspot Nashville South.
After high school, with his father's help, Aldean and his band performed in college towns in Florida, Alabama, and Georgia, and then further up the southeastern seaboard. With one of the band's members, Justin Weaver, Aldean began writing songs. In 1998 he performed his original songs at a showcase staged by Atlanta nightclub The Buckboard. He was approached by Michael Knox, then of the Warner-Chappell song-publishing company. After signing with Warner-Chappell, Aldean moved to Music City on November 1, 1998 at age 21.
A month after moving to Music City, Aldean was offered a recording contract but was subsequently dropped. He signed with another label but again was dropped in 2000 for postponing his recording sessions repeatedly. Various showcases failed to bring him a contract. The last straw was an attempt at the Wildhorse Saloon where the promised label talent scouts never even showed up. Finally, Lawrence Mathis spotted Jason at one of the showcases at The Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville. Mathis signed as Aldean's first manager. Still frustrated and discouraged with his struggling career, Aldean gave himself six months before planning to leave Nashville and return home to Georgia. Then five weeks later, he was offered a deal from Broken Bow Records in Nashville. Shortly after the release of his first album, Jason picked up his new (and current agent), Bimal Patel. And while recording Relentless, Jason moved to Clarence Spalding and Spalding Entertainment for management.
Jason Aldean (2005-2006)
Aldean's first single, "Hicktown", was released in early 2005. It served as the lead-off to his album Jason Aldean, and reached a peak of #10 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. The album also produced his first Number One hit in "Why", as well as the #4-peaking "Amarillo Sky", which had previously been a non-charting single in 2002 for McBride & the Ride. Amarillo Sky earned a 2006 ACM nomination for song of the year and video of the year. Jason Aldean earned the title of "Top New Male Vocalist" at the 2006 Academy of Country Music Awards. Jason Aldean has sold over one million copies in the United States, and was certified platinum by the RIAA in 2007.
Aldean spent most of January 2007 in the studio with producer Michael Knox to finish his second album, Relentless. This album was released on May 29, 2007, and at Wal-Mart, it was released with a Limited Edition CMT Pick DVD that includes performances from Jason Aldean. The album's lead-off single, "Johnny Cash", was originally recorded by Tracy Byrd and peaked at #6 when Aldean released it. Its followup, "Laughed Until We Cried", has become his fifth consecutive Top Ten hit. Relentless has also been certified gold by the RIAA, and its title track was released as its third single. The song has also been Aldean's lowest charting single in both the U.S. and Canada, failing to reach Top Ten on the country charts.
Wide Open (2008-Present)
Aldean released a seventh single titled "She's Country" to radio on December 1, 2008. It is the first single from his third album Wide Open which was released on April 7, 2009. The single debuted at #51 on the Hot Country Songs chart in late-November 2008. His seventh consecutive Top 40 hit on the country charts, it is also his first Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, and became his second number-one hit, and his first since "Why" in May 2006. The next single, the David Lee Murphy-Jim Collins co-write "Big Green Tractor," became Aldean's third Number One hit. Wide Open debuted at #2 on the Top Country Albums chart.
Jason Aldean performed with Bryan Adams on an episode of CMT Crossroads in the beginning of May, and the episode premiered on June 26, 2009. In an interview with Shave Magazine, Jason explained that working with Bryan on this album "was great. He was a lot of fun." But the real highlight for Jason was working with Randy Owen. "I am a big fan of Alabama so I got a chance to work with Randy Owen on this album (it didn’t make the album but it eventually made a bonus track). It was really cool. Alabama were like ‘The Beatles’ for me so working with him was definitely one of the highlights. I mean, both of those guys were really cool moments, but, if I had to pick one highlight, it would be working with Randy this year."
A live DVD titled Wide Open Live & More was released on August 25, 2009.
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