Editor's note: Jason Aldean is among the honorees at the 2017 CMT Artists of the Year special premiering tonight (Oct. 18) at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
Those lucky enough to participate in a Jason Aldean meet-and-greet on his 2008 CMT On Tour with Lady Antebellum witnessed him greeting every fan he met by name. That was before he had the chance to shake their hand.
That's how much Aldean cares about his fans. To him, they're family, and he does his best to be on a first name basis with every soul that has supported his music.
Tonight's (Oct. 18) 2017 CMT Artists of the Year is their night. The show will be a celebration of unity, hope and healing following the devastating hurricanes and the deadly mass shooting that happened during Aldean's set at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas.
When he resumed his They Don't Know tour in Tulsa last week, he said, "It has been really cool to see all the love and support that has been going on over the last 10 days or so because of what happened in Las Vegas, and I just feel like if we can do that on a daily basis, man, the world would be a lot better place."
Aldean added that every day that goes by, he thinks about the 58 victims who lost their lives in the gunfire.
"You guys have helped us take the next step toward doing what we need to do: get out and play music and do what we do every night," he said, thanking the crowd in Tulsa that night. "And you guys have been a big reason for that tonight. So thank ya'll so much for being here."
The 2017 CMT Artists of the Year will be an uplifting 90-minute special celebrating the ties that bind musicians and their fans. Each honoree, including Aldean, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Chris Stapleton and Keith Urban, will perform.