Twenty-five years ago this month, Aaron Tippin released his debut album. As he continues to celebrate a quarter century in the country music industry, the 57-year-old says there's some good advice he'd offer his younger self, if he could: "Slow down."

"The first 10 years, I was too busy trying to be Elvis [Presley] -- next rung on the ladder, just next rung on the ladder," Tippin tells The Boot. "So I never looked around, and I never smelled the roses. The last part of it -- man, I get it ... I’m very thankful to be here."

Throughout 2015, the South Carolina native celebrated his silver musical anniversary by releasing an album, Aaron Tippin 25, and performing all over the country. He says that the experience was especially meaningful.

"... I’m just going around America, just as I have done for 25 years. When I finish a show, I go straight down front, start signing autographs, and I don’t leave until the last one’s done," Tippin explains "Except this [time], I [got] to say, ‘Thank you for the past 25 years.’ I’m such a blessed hillbilly."

While Tippin has earned his fair share of No. 1 singles and platinum-selling albums, his proudest moment has nothing to do with that sort of career success.

"I was on The Bob Hope Show, Christmas of 1990. I went to Saudi Arabia to entertain our troops with Bob Hope. Through that same experience, [I met] a young Marine captain ... an Aaron Tippin fan," Tippin explains. "After he got out of the Marine Corps, he became a NASA shuttle pilot. On one of his missions, he was allowed two pieces of music in space. He took one of my CDs. I’ve got a picture of my CD floating in front of him in the space shuttle."

See a list of all of Tippin's upcoming shows on his website, and download Aaron Tippin 25 on iTunes.