Backstage With Jason Aldean at ACM Awards

“Every One of Us Wants to Win”

LAS VEGAS — After winning the Academy of Country Music’s entertainer of the year award on Sunday night (April 2) — for the second year in a row — Jason Aldean came backstage to talk about how important the award is to him.

And he was especially candid about how important winning is to him.

“Whenever any of us are up for any of these awards, we all want to win,” Aldean said. “Anybody can come up here and blow smoke up your ass and tell you it’s just nice to be nominated. Whatever. I’m here to tell you, every one of us wants to win. I promise you, every one (in the category) of them wanted to win.”

This particular award is not just an automatic rite of passage once you get to a certain level of fame or commercial success. It’s not just a given.

Aldean learned that after leaving the stage and running into Tim McGraw.

“I was backstage talking to McGraw earlier, and he comes up and congratulated me. He said, ’Congrats, man. I never won that award.’ I said, ’You gotta be kidding me.’

“To me, that’s baffling. And it kind of tells you what kind of company you’re putting yourself in when you win that. It’s just so hard to get it. And to get it twice, it’s unbelievable.”

Aldean was 11 years into his career when he won it last year, he said, and sometimes it just doesn’t happen when you think it’s going to happen.

“I was so happy to get it once. I’ve never made any bones about when it comes to that,” he said of last year’s win. “I would forfeit anything I’ve got to get that award one time. You can have everything else I’ve got. I just want entertainer once.

“I was so happy to get it last year, I never cared if I got it again, honestly.”

His post-show plan included hitting some parties, visiting a few blackjack tables, but mostly, celebrating with his band and crew.

“It’s got my name on it, but there’s about 50 people that should have their names on this award,” he said. “It’s a big deal to us. It’s the biggest award of the night for a reason.”

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