Jason Aldean thrives on controversy, but can rest of country music?

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Anyone who has seen country star Jason Aldean in concert knows that he\u0027s generally not a big talker between songs

Then, taking a page from the playbook of former president Donald Trump, whom Aldean has spent time with lately at Mar-a-Lago, he blamed the media for the whole mess. Or more specifically, “All my media people out there who have never met me in their life, don’t know anything about me . . . you can take your narratives and shove them all the way up your ass.”

His current concert speeches also reflect this, as he reassured the audience in Hershey, Pa., that he didn’t “cave” when he had to edit out six seconds of a Black Lives Matter demonstration from his music video; rather, it was for legal copyright reasons. “The only person I bow down to is God,” he said.

While country music has gained more prominence among progressive listeners, its artists are well aware that it’s still a historically conservative fan base. But as the “Try That in a Small Town” controversy blew up, most country singers said nothing either way. A few such as Cody Johnson and Brantley Gilbert expressed support for Aldean during concerts.

“All they do is defend . . . ‘The song isn’t this, the song isn’t racist,'” McAnally said. “Basically, I just wish someone would say, ‘That wasn’t our intention. If it hits this many people this way, I’m sorry,’ instead of ‘You’re all crazy.’ If so many people feel that way, it’s hitting something, it’s hitting a nerve.”

Aldean, who was onstage when the gunman started shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas in 2017, the deadliest U.S. mass shooting in history, has talked about what he went through but avoids taking a position on gun control. Although, at a July tour stop in Mansfield, Mass., he alluded that gun violence was one of the themes behind the song.


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