Jason Aldean on the Decade Between

“The Road Was a Little Longer”

It took Jason Aldean about 10 years to go from newcomer to big shot. With several wins in between, there was a decade between two of his big victories at the Academy of Country Music Awards — new male vocalist for 2005 and entertainer of the year for 2015.

I had a chance to ask him what it was like during that decade.

“For some artists, it happens that they win both those awards in a three or four year span. They go from obscurity to huge. For me, it just wasn’t like that,” Aldean told me.

“It was a slow and steady climb to get to where we are now. It took us a little longer. But I wouldn’t change it. This set me up to have a really solid career and to be able to stick around longer than some other people might.

“I’m thankful for the way it turned out and glad it didn’t happen quick for me. The road was a little longer. We’ve had more hits under my belt. We’ve gone out and busted our butts and played more shows than most. I am a firm believer that that stuff pays off,” he added.

If it happens too fast, Aldean said, there may not be enough time to build a fan base.

“You’re hot for a minute, and you have fans with you for a minute, but then they move on to the next thing,” he said. “If you consistently give people hits, you’re drawing them in more and more. That’s the way it worked out for us.”

Sometime he thinks the decade felt like it took just about that long.

Other times?

“I look back and think, ‘Man, that flew by.’”

And like he sang in his debut single “Hicktown,” he ain’t finished yet.

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