Jason Aldean Shares How His Father Shaped His Music
Jason Aldean opens up in a new interview about the impact his father, Barry, had on his choice to become a country singer.
Talking to the PBS program Breaking Big, Aldean recalls how his father and uncle used to sit in the living room and sing songs from country greats including Merle Haggard and George Jones.
"Really, I started wanting to sing just so I could sit in the room with those guys," the star recalls in the video above, which he posted to Facebook.
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After Aldean's parents divorced, his mother, Debbie, raised him in Macon, Ga., while his father moved to Florida. His dad bought him a cheap guitar with the promise that if he learned to play, he'd buy him a nice guitar as a reward, but young Jason was more interested in baseball at that point. It wasn't until he spent the summer with his dad in Florida that he really picked up the instrument. Left with plenty of time on his hands while his father was at work during the day, Aldean spent hours playing guitar.
"I really didn't have anything else to do," he recalls. "So I started trying to learn songs, and you look up and you've been doing it for five or six hours straight. A couple of months later I was teaching him stuff, and so true to his word, he bought me a nice guitar."
Aldean began playing in public when he was 14, and by his late teens he was competing in and winning talent shows in Georgia. That led to several years of bar gigs that brought him to the attention of his longtime producer, Michael Knox, who met the aspiring singer at a show and vowed to bring him to Nashville. Though it would take several more years and more than one failed record deal before Aldean hit it big with the release of his debut single, "Hicktown," in 2005, he was well on his way.
The superstar now plays stadiums as one of the biggest touring acts across all genres, and he says one of the greatest pleasures of succeeding so well is making his parents proud.
"I look around now, and believe me, I'm very aware of how fortunate I am," he reflects. "It's cool, because I've been able to pay back my parents for helping me out all those years, and kinda giving me a kick in the butt when I needed it."
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