When we last checked on country music superstar Jason Aldean he was amid the climb to the top of the charts, debuting a new album and enjoying the rare air afforded to such lofty pinnacles in the rough and tumble world of entertainment.
That was five years ago when he was still clicking his boot heels following the explosive release of his 2005 smash, “Hicktown.” Chart-toppers followed including “She’s Country,” “Crazy Town,” “Johnny Cash,” “Dirt Road Anthem,” “Fly Over States,” “Church Pew” and “Tattoos On This Town.” At the time, he was about to release “Night Train” and had been nominated for three Country Music Association awards, including Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, and Single of the Year for “Dirt Road Anthem.”
Since then, the native of Macon, Ga., has garnered two ACA Entertainer of the Year awards and numerous other accolades. He’s among the most popular modern country artists today, selling out shows on his tours and continuing his legacy as one of the industry’s leading voices.
Now, Aldean is heading to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Nashville. Tennessee’s state capitol is booming with new vitality and a boom of growth, but in the heart of the city’s rolling streets is the famed Ryman Auditorium where legends of old country, new country and other genres still perform.
Aldean’s life and music will be showcased in an exhibition at the hall of fame. “Jason Aldean: Asphalt Cowboy, presented by Field and Stream,” opens May 26 and runs through Nov. 5.
The exhibit, according to a press release from the museum, will describe the early encouragement Aldean received from both parents, his move to Nashville, his struggle to get his music heard and his groundbreaking success with an independent record company.
“In ‘Asphalt Cowboy’ Jason sings about running underneath the stars on a ride that won’t let him go,” museum CEO Kyle Young said in the release. “Years of touring across the country, burning up the asphalt, have led him to country music superstardom on a ride that’s far from over. We are pleased that he will join Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood among the contemporary artists we have featured in special summer exhibits examining country music in the twenty-first century.”
“I could not be more honored to have an exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum,” Aldean said. “To look around the space and see my personal heroes and artists who helped shape country music is a surreal feeling. To be a part of a legacy like this really is a dream come true.”
Field & Stream, a specialty outdoor retail and product brand owned and operated by DICK’S Sporting Goods, is sponsoring the exhibit to enable country music fans and outdoor enthusiasts from all over the country to get a closer look at one of the most iconic country music artists in the industry.
“When we first started working with Jason, it was our goal to create an authentic partnership with someone who was genuinely passionate about hunting and fishing, and believes in building traditions through spending time outdoors. Jason was an obvious choice for us,” said Robby Dorsch, Brand Marketing, Field & Stream.
“Jason’s partnership with Field & Stream has extended beyond his loyal music fans,” Dorsch added. “Since the partnership’s inception last August, Field & Stream has seen a positive response from country music audiences and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Not to mention, Field & Stream continues to be one of our top selling private label brands.”
Fans visiting the Asphalt Cowboy exhibit will see include childhood mementos, memorabilia from Aldean’s early career, stagewear, guitars, awards, photos and more from his personal collection. Exhibition highlights include:
— Wooden rocking horse with Aldean’s name on side
— First guitar, given to Aldean by his father
— High school graduation photo
— T-shirt, bio and set list for Aldean’s high school band, Young Guns
— Poster for Trisha Yearwood and Aldean, when he opened for her homecoming concert in the late ’90s
— Contract cover letter for signing with Broken Bow Records in 2004
— Brown short-sleeve shirt worn in “Johnny Cash” video
— Note from Jay Leno to Aldean before his Tonight Show performance in November 2010
One of the most visited museums in the United States, with an unduplicated collection of more than 2.5 million artifacts, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017. Aldean’s installation leads a year packed with revealing exhibitions on topics including Loretta Lynn, Shania Twain, and country music couple Faith Hill and Tim McGraw.