Jason Aldean earned a major honor during the 2019 ACM Awards. So, what was going on in his head during the big moment?

"I was thinking I had 30 seconds and I had a lot of people to thank," Aldean joked about his acceptance speech after he received the Dick Clark Artist of the Decade Award during the 2019 ACMs. "I wasn't going to have time, unfortunately."

Although he didn't have enough time to thank everyone he wanted to, Aldean goes on to say, it was particularly important to him to mention his peers in the industry. "The biggest thing for me, is I felt like there has been a lot of artists in country music that have helped sort of drive it over the past 10 years," Aldean explained backstage after accepting his award.

"A lot of those guys that were kind of in my class, that sort of came out when I did -- I thought if nothing else they deserved an acknowledgment," he goes on to say. "Because I think Carrie [Underwood], Keith [Urban], Kenny [Chesney], Luke Bryan, I mean I think those guys have done a lot over the last decade as well and so I wanted to make sure I at least acknowledged them."

Not only did Aldean make sure to recognize his fellow artists, but he made it a point to acknowledge the people who work for his career behind the scenes, too. "I've had a great team around me since day one, and you know they've helped get to this point. As the artists, we are the ones that get all this glitz and the glamour, but there's a lot of people behind the scenes that've worked really hard to get us here, and so I've got a lot of them to thank," he continues.

Aldean also adds that he owes a lot to George Strait, who presented him with the award. Not only has Strait been a longtime influence and mentor to the younger artist, but having him onstage to present the trophy marked a full circle moment that Aldean describes as a kind of "passing of the torch."

"He's the reason I wear the hat and boots. He's the guy that I think we all want to have a career like that. Everybody in country music respects him and what he's done," Aldean explains. "He's one of my idols."

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