2015 CMT Music Awards: Jason Aldean Overcomes Front-Row Fear

He Looks Back at Decade of Live TV Performances

A couple of months ago, Jason Aldean’s “Hicktown” turned 10 years old. But even 10 years and countless live performances later, he still remembers what it was that made him so nervous the first time he sang on an awards show — the stars in the audience.

“I mean, to me, it’s one thing to go out and play your shows and open for concerts. But to come out and perform and look down and see Strait, McGraw, Chesney, Reba and Brooks & Dunn, that was nerve-wracking,” Aldean told me after his rehearsal for his Wednesday night (June 10) CMT Music Awards performance.

“I came up playing all their music — and that’s what shaped my sound –so I’m standing there and all these people are in the front row. That’s probably the most nervous I’ve ever been onstage. And we played the full song. So I had three minutes of fear.”

When Aldean sings his brand new “Tonight Looks Good on You” during the CMT Music Awards, he won’t be as nervous. Not just because he’s had a lot of practice since but because he knows his audience.

“There’s a different vibe now. I’m not nervous anymore,” he said. “You still want it to come off well. But now that I’ve gotten to know these guys, and I have guys telling me how much they love the songs, that takes the edge off a little.”

The red carpet pre-show will air from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET/PT, followed by the 2015 CMT Music Awards at 8 p.m. ET/PT.