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Jason Aldean Was at a Grocery Store When He First Heard Himself on the Radio

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Kevin Winter, Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Jason Aldean‘s first hit single, “Hicktown,” was released in early 2005 and peaked at No. 10 on the country charts — but before “Hicktown” made its way onto radio playlists, Aldean was struggling with his career path. The now-superstar spent years in Nashville struggling to “make it,” and shortly before signing with Broken Bow Records, he gave himself a limit of six months to get his career going; if it didn’t happen, he was going to leave Music City and go back home to his native Georgia.

So, where was Aldean when he heard his first single on the radio — keeping him in Nashville for good?

It was about 10 o’clock at night. I was going over to a friend’s house, just to hang out. I had to stop by a Kroger grocery store. I pulled in the parking lot, and right about the time I was going to get out of my car, “Hicktown” came on the radio.

It took me a second to realize that it was me. I shut the door real quick and wanted to hear it, so I drove around in the parking lot a few times.

I was a little nervous that somebody was going to see me listening to my own song, which would have been kind of weird, but I didn’t realize at the time that it was my first single, and nobody really knew who I was, so it wouldn’t have mattered!

This story was originally written by Pat Gallagher, and revised by Angela Stefano.

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