Jason Aldean: “I Got a Big Torch to Carry”

Backstage Moment With the ACM Entertainer of the Year

LAS VEGAS — Now Jason Aldean is happy.

After claiming the top prize Sunday night (April 3) at the Academy of Country Music Awards, he came backstage to talk with reporters about how this win was all he’s ever wanted.

“I always said I just want it once. If I get it once, I’m happy. You don’t even have to nominate me again. I’m good. That ain’t to say now that I don’t want it again,” he laughed.

Eleven years into his career, Aldean made it sound like he thought this entertainer of the year trophy might never be his.

“At some point, if it was my time, it would happen, and I was starting to think this one just wasn’t in the cards,” Aldean said. “We all have our window for these things, and you hope to get it, but sometimes it’s just the way it is. And this award is the one everybody wants.”

He also said he doesn’t know why this year was the year, but that he doesn’t really care about the why. To him, this award is all about touring — and touring is what he’s built his career on.

“I take a lot of pride in going out and performing for people and making my live show what it’s been. This was really important to me. I never tried to downplay it. There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing,” Aldean said, adding that now, “I got a big torch to carry.”

Admitting nothing ever happened quickly for him and his band and that it took them a while to get rolling, Aldean thinks that might make this win a little more special.

“To get this in my career now,” he said, “I can tell you there’s never been anybody that’s won this award that is more thankful of it than I am tonight.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.