He’ll be honored alongside Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban during a live ceremony filled with music and hosted by Larry the Cable Guy. The action kicks off Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. ET on CMT.
Aldean, the reigning ACM male vocalist of the year, hit the ground running this year with one of the hottest tours in the industry, leading up to the highly anticipated release of his Old Boots, New Dirt album.
The album debuted at No.1 on the all-genre Billboard’s 200 chart, and its lead single, “Burnin’ it Down,” sold more than 180,000 units in its first week of release. Aldean previewed the track on tour, receiving a monumental reception from fans.
“I think with every album, we’ve sort of dialed it in a little better,” he said of his new music. “I feel like now, when we go in to record an album, there’s a confidence there that I think comes with time and comes with experience and just knowing we got a pretty good thing going.”
Old Boots, New Dirt was Aldean’s first release since his 2012 album, Night Train, and he says unveiling the new music has been one of the highlights of his busy year.
“There’s just things like that to me that I point back to this year that are kind of the defining moments of this year,” he said. “But anybody that’s followed my career over the years knows that we live on the road. That’s where we are 90 percent of the time. And those stadium shows, getting a chance to mark off a few more of those this year to me was really cool. So all in all, it’s been a pretty good year.”
Next year is already looking positive as well. Aldean has announced plans to extend the Burn It Down tour into 2015.
“This is, honestly, probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever done in my career,” he said. “To walk out and not only be able to play stadiums — ‘cause we’ve done it at different festivals and things like that — but to walk out and it be your show, that’s definitely something that doesn’t get old. … I’d be fine with doing this every night, fine with me. So hopefully one of these days, we can figure out a way to make that happen.”
He’ll bring 2014 to a close with the CMT Artists of the Year celebration, where he remains the only artist to be honored every year since the show’s inception.
“I think it’s cool,” the superstar said. “Anytime you get recognized for stuff like that, it’s like getting a pat on the back. It feels good that people are noticing what you’re doing, and it means we’re still out there doing well, which is what we want. So to me it’s just a big honor.”
Watch the 2014 CMT Artists of the Year special airing live Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. ET.