Numerous country stars have boldly shared their support of Jason Aldean amid the recent backlash regarding his new single, “Try That In A Small Town,” and its accompanying music video.
The country music community as a whole is a tight-knit one. But, when an artist comes under fire, they find out who their friends are. Like the lyrics to Tracy Lawrence’s 2007 song, “Find Out Who Your Friends Are,” Jason Aldean likely found out this past week that “This is just one of those times when a lot of folks jump off.”
Jason Aldean came under fire upon the release of the music video for “Try That In A Small Town” on July 14. Critics of Aldean and his conservative political stance were quick to accuse the singer of promoting “vigilanteism” and being “pro-lynching.
Variety‘s chief music critic, Chris Willman, called the song “the most contemptible country song of the decade,” and said “the video is worse.” Willman also said that the song “won’t come within a country mile of being nominated for anything.”
Backlash over the new Aldean song reached a peak last week as CMT pulled the video from its lineup, prompting a call for a boycott of the network.
Jason Aldean issued a statement calling the claims “not only meritless, but dangerous.”
During a weekend tour stop Jason Aldean addressed the controversy from the stage and blasted “cancel culture.”
46-year-old Aldean was on stage at Cincinnati’s Riverbend Music Center during the second weekend of his Highway Desperado Tour when he told the crowd, “It’s been a long week.”
“I feel like everybody’s entitled to their opinion. You can think something all you want to, it doesn’t mean it’s true,” Jason said. “What I am is a proud American. I’m proud to be from here. I love our country. I want to see it restored to what it once was before all this bulls— started happening to us. I love my country, I love my family, and I will do anything to protect that, I can tell you that right now.”
The crowd reacted with “USA” chants in a show of support for the singer. But, Jason Aldean isn’t only getting support from his concert crowds.
🇺🇸 USA Chants Break Out as Jason Aldean Addresses the Media Attacks on Him This Week
“I love our country. I want to see it restored to what it once was before all this bullsh*t started happening to us.”
*From last night’s show in Cincinnati, OH (7/21) pic.twitter.com/VKGRIp0PvD
— Chief Nerd (@TheChiefNerd) July 22, 2023
Jason Aldean also received shoutouts from the stage and on TV from his fellow country artists and friends.
During a weekend concert in Ridgefield, Washington, Aldean’s longtime friend Luke Bryan gave him a short but sweet shoutout from stage. He fell short of addressing the controversy in detail, but simple told the crowd, “Wanna send this one out to my buddy Jason Aldean,” before singing “Huntin’, Fishin’, and Lovin’ Every Day.”
He added, “If you like to love one another, where you at?“
@cody.wheelr Luke Bryan was fire! #luke #lukebryan #jasonaldean ♬ original sound – Cody Wheeler
“Til You Can’t” singer Cody Johnson also showed Jason some love during his St. Louis concert Friday night (July 21). “We live in a time where everyone gets p—-ed off at Jason Aldean for putting out a song,” Johnson was filmed saying. “If you’re videoing this, and Jason Aldean if you’re seeing this video, you keep it up, brother. You do you, boo boo.”
Cody Johnson threw his support behind Jason Aldean the other night!!!
“If being patriotic makes me an outlaw, then by God, I’ll be an outlaw.” pic.twitter.com/5avT4uAvcn
— Graham Allen (@GrahamAllen_1) July 22, 2023
Country legend Travis Tritt posted a statement of support online and defended Aldean’s song that he says “is simply expressing a point of view that many American people share which is against the obvious violence that we have seen from the likes of so many ‘activists groups’ in this country in recent years and the belief shared by millions that this behavior would not be tolerated by many people in many places across the USA.”
Tritt also shared a reminder to his friend that social media doesn’t represent the majority of the U.S. population.
I would also like to remind my friend, @Jason_Aldean that Twitter and social media in general is not a real place. The views shared by many accounts on this platform are not actually representative of the vast majority of the population of this country. Say what you want to say…
— Travis Tritt (@Travistritt) July 19, 2023
Proud patriot and “God Bless The U.S.A.” singer Lee Greenwood appeared on Fox News’ Jesse Watters Primetime to defend Jason Aldean. Greenwood first praised Aldean’s song, saying that he wished he had the song, then condemned the accusations that the lyrics show prejudice and promotes violence.
“This has nothing to do with racism. This is about people trying to take away the freedom of expression,” Greenwood said. “I’m a Bible-thumpin’, gun-totin’ Christian. When you talk about having guns and having them in your home for defense, it’s not about an offensive weapon. It’s about having the right to have the gun.”
Brantley Gilbert also shared his frustration with the Jason Aldean situation during a concert stop in Arkansas on Saturday (July 20). An admittedly angry Gilbert called out people who stir up trouble online in a profanity-laden rant.
“One of my many pet peeves is the fact that we live in a society nowadays when people don’t get punched in the face anymore. Just a bunch of keyboard warriors hiding behind a cell phone and laptops talking a bunch of s***,” Gilbert told a cheering crowd.
“So I got mad as hell the other day over this Aldean thing. I thought I was gonna tweet something, and I realized that I don’t have the password for any of my social media. So I decided to write them son’ b****** a song I hope y’all like it.”
Brantley Gilbert said the TRUTH!!!
EVERYDAY AMERICANS are behind JASON ALDEAN!!!! pic.twitter.com/0AQVmR7Ers
— Graham Allen (@GrahamAllen_1) July 23, 2023
In a show of solidarity with Jason Aldean, ’90s hitmaker Neal McCoy took to social media to ask CMT to remove all of his music videos from their lineup.
Outspoken conservative and Big & Rich singer John Rich addressed the Jason Aldean controversy by calling out CMT for pulling his music video. In a statement posted to Twitter, Rich asked the question on everyone’s mind. “Why did CMT originally add Aldean’s song? If it’s so terrible in July, why wasn’t it terrible last May? Is anyone going to interview CMT? Or nah?”
Why did @cmt originally add Aldean’s song? If it’s so terrible in July, why wasn’t it terrible last May? Is anyone going to interview CMT? Or nah?
— John Rich🇺🇸 (@johnrich) July 20, 2023
“Barefoot Blue Jean Night” singer, Jake Owen, came to Jason Aldean’s defense when fellow artist Jason Isbell criticized him on Twitter. Isbell slammed Aldean for recording a song he didn’t write and dared him to write his next song himself.
Owen fired back, accusing Isbell of “spouting off” from behind his keyboard instead of confronting Jason in person.
Jason, you’re always the first to get behind your keyboard and spout off with this stupid shit. In “my small town” you just walk up to the guy and be a man to his face if you want the smoke… not tweet it at him…. Tough guy. https://t.co/Sm7jbD9HX3
— Jake Owen (@jakeowen) July 20, 2023
While Owens’ statement wasn’t necessarily a response to the current political debate, he showed his support for Aldean as an artist.
2022 ACM New Male Artist of the Year Parker McCollum weighed in on the controversy surrounding Jason Aldean’s song with a retweet of a post made by political commentator Matt Walsh. The tweet questioned the media’s judgement over the song, saying that for decades rap songs have “directly and enthusiastically glorified murder, drug dealing, robbery and every other violent crime.”
Hilarious to hear the media accuse Jason Aldean of writing a song that "promotes violence" when nearly every rap song for the past 30 years has directly and enthusiastically glorified murder, drug dealing, robbery and every other violent crime, and these people say nothing
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) July 19, 2023
Watch Jason Aldean’s music video for “Try That In A Small Town” below.