Country artists get the chance to recognize the music that shaped their lives with CMT All-Time Top 40: Artist's Choice. Beginning Saturday (March 15), the countdown of influential artists will be revealed one by one each week on CMT Hot 20 Countdown, starting with No. 40 and concluding with No. 1 in December.
Each influential musician or band will be ranked based on an artist poll conducted by CMT among the biggest stars in country music. The ballot isn't limited to just country artists, so over the course of 2014, CMT All-Time Top 40 will highlight artists from all genres that influence country's biggest names.
Fittingly, there's a three-way tie for No. 40 between Aerosmith, Alan Jackson and Carrie Underwood.
Chris Young, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line and The Band Perry were among the admirers of the Boston-bred band of rock stars. Check out what they had to say.
"You know what, you're gonna laugh," said Young while describing his love for the band. "I was a diehard video game player when I was a kid. ... There was a Nintendo video game that was from the arcade that Aerosmith did all the music for, and it was like licensed to them. I had already been a huge fan and after playing that, I decided that I just needed to learn all of their music. So you know I was walking around singing "Love in an Elevator" and "Rag Doll" and everything else."
Aldean admitted Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler was a big inspiration.
"I think Steve Tyler is the best frontman that's ever been in a band of any kind," he stated. "Such a distinctive voice and just a great showman. Sometimes you have certain guys that are lead singers of a band that really are the focal point of the show. Steven Tyler is that guy. Especially in his prime, he was one of the best I've ever seen."
Florida Georgia Line's Brian Kelley agreed, but took things one step further.
"Steven Tyler is one of the most amazing vocalists out there, still to today," Kelley said. "He's a rockstar ... The thing they did with RUN DMC back in the day, that was breaking down barriers and walls for us to do things like we're doing today."
"And they work really hard at that craft," concluded The Band Perry's Kimberly Perry. "I heard one time that Steven Tyler actually goes back after all their shows and will listen to each instrument from the performance of the night and get it better the next night. That sort of dedication to your craft is why they've stayed relevant for so many years."
Tune in to CMT Hot 20 Countdown to check out the rest of the list as country stars count down the CMT All-Time Top 40: Artist's Choice.