Jason Aldean Learned Big Plays From the ‘Sidelines’
According to Jason Aldean, an entertainer is someone who is not only a great singer but someone who can effortlessly connect with fans. That sounds very much like the Georgia native himself, currently riding a wave of success that includes nominations for ACM Entertainer of the Year and Top Male Vocalist. But Jason says throughout his career, he's found several other artists who have help him define that word.
"I loved Alabama," Jason tells The Boot. "Randy Owen is one of the best entertainers I've ever seen. While I was growing up, it was watching guys like that, guys who not only sang but had a great show and worked the crowd into a frenzy. That, to me, is an entertainer."
Jason has also been fortunate to go out on tour with a few of the acts considered among the top entertainers in country music today. "Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Keith Urban -- I had the chance to watch their shows and pull bits and pieces from all of them," he notes. "All the time, I was thinking, 'when I get to this point [to headline my own show], it would be cool to do that, use that kind of video or those kind of lights and those kind of ramps.'"
Jason has definitely learned from the best. "Anyone I've been out with, I've been a student of theirs, watching their show from the sidelines, watching how everything worked," he says. "I was planning for the day when we got the chance to headline. That time came this year. Each year you go out, you want to outdo the last year, make your show bigger and better. By far, this year is the biggest production show we've had out. The trick now is to beat it next year! We'll worry about that in a couple months; right now, we're just enjoying it."
Performing in front of 15,000 - 20,000 people in an arena is much different than performing on live TV, but Jason says he doesn't get as nervous as he once did when performing for the camera.
"We've had the chance now to perform numerous times on award shows, and even though it is a little nerve-wracking, I kind of know what to expect from that side of it. The only thing that makes me nervous is it's live TV and if there is a blunder, there's no fixing it. It's going to be on YouTube the next day for sure. Other than that, you go out and have fun."
The singer admits he's not sure what the experience of waiting for the award recipient to be called in the Entertainer of the Year category will be like. "That will be a new one for me; I'll have to get back to you on that," he jokes."I'm looking forward to being there and being in the audience as a nominee. It's not something I'm going in thinking it's a shoo-in for me to bring either award home, but it's going to be cool to be there and nominated. The excitement that goes with the awards show will be a cool part of being at the show this year."
Jason took home the Top New Male Artist award in 2005, but this is his first year to be nominated for Entertainer. "I would be lying to you if I told you that in the past, when the awards came up, it wasn't frustrating for us not be nominated. I try not to ever let not being nominated bother me too much. I kinda always figured if it happened it would, and if it didn't there was nothing I could do to change it, other than just do my thing.