44 Years Ago: Jason Aldean Is Born in Macon, Ga.
Happy birthday, Jason Aldean! The singer, who turns 44 today, was born on Feb. 28, 1977, in Macon, Ga.
Aldean, whose birth name is Jason Aldine Williams, grew up with a love of both sports and music. Raised by his mother, after his parents divorced when he was 3 years old, Aldean spent summers at his father's home in Florida, which is where he honed his craft. His father, a guitar player, gave Aldean chords to practice while he was at work, so the future country music star spent his summers becoming proficient at the instrument.
By the time he was a teenager, Aldean was performing all around Macon, but after graduating from high school, he had to choose between pursuing sports or music full time. Ultimately, he chose music, turning down a free ride to college on a baseball scholarship in the process.
“I just couldn’t see going to school for four more years,” Aldean says. “It was hard enough to get out of high school. I went to school basically because I had to and because I wanted to play baseball. That was about it.”
So, at 21, Aldean moved to Nashville and immersed himself in his music career. While he eventually rose the ranks to superstar status, his beginnings were far from prosperous, forcing him to question his decision. After earning the attention of producer Michael Knox and signing a publishing contract, Aldean landed two separate recording contracts, both of which ended without producing an album. He continued to play all over town, finally catching the attention of a manager, who ultimately got him a deal with his current record label, Broken Bow Records.
Aldean's self-titled debut album was released in 2005 and spawned three hit singles, including the No. 1 song "Why" and his first platinum-selling tune, "Amarillo Sky." But it wasn't until his third record, Wide Open, that Aldean became a bona fide star. The debut single from the disc, "She's Country," sold more than 2 million copies, as did the follow-up song, "Big Green Tractor." Aldean's fourth studio album, My Kinda Party, sold over 3 million copies and included his biggest single to date, "Dirt Road Anthem," which was certified quadruple platinum, for sales of 4 million units.
Aldean has also launched some of the biggest tours in music history, among all genres. His 2013 Night Train Tour included two sold-out nights at Boston's Fenway Park -- a first for a country act -- while his show at the University of Georgia's Sanford Stadium was the first concert ever at the 60,000-seat venue. Aldean also performed a sold-out show at Chicago's Wrigley Field during that trek.
However, 2013 also included some personal struggles for Aldean. That year, his marriage to his high school sweetheart, Jessica Ussery, ended in the wake of his alleged inappropriate behavior with former American Idol contestant Brittany Kerr. The father of two daughters got engaged to Kerr in the fall of 2014; the couple wed in March of 2015, and they've since added both a son and another daughter to their family.
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