ACM Awards: Jason Aldean Thanks Wife Brittany, Family in Emotional Artist of the Decade Speech

Jason Aldean gave an emotional acceptance speech at the Academy of County Music Awards ceremony on Sunday, where he received the Artist of the Decade award for his work.

In his speech, Aldean thanked his family for their support. Aldean is married to his second wife, Brittany Kerr, a former American Idol contestant. Aldean and Brittany welcomed their second child, daughter Navy, in February and are also parents to 1-year-old Memphis. Aldean also has two daughters from his first marriage, Keeley and Kendyl.

During his list of people he thanked, Aldean gave a shout-out to Brittany, telling her "I love you."

"More than anything, thank you to the country music fans, country radio," Aldean said. "You guys have changed my life forever. Thank y'all so much. This is one of the proudest nights of my life."

Aldean, 42, is only the sixth artist to receive the honor, following in the footsteps of country legends Marty Robbins, Loretta Lynn, Alabama, Garth Brooks and George Strait. The "Drowns the Whiskey" singer also entered the night with a chance to join Brooks as the only artists to win both the Artist of the Decade and Entertainer of the Year awards on the same night.

Aldean was also nominated for Music Event of the Year for "Drowns the Whiskey," his duet with Miranda Lambert. He has won Entertainer of the Year for the past three years and won Male Vocalist of the Year at the 2012, 2013 and 2014 awards.

During a media event last week, Aldean admitted he was more nervous about picking up the award than performing on the same night.

"I'm not a guy that sits down and writes speeches or does any of that kind of stuff," he said. "I think the best speeches come from the heart and what's on your mind at the time. I don't know what I'm going to say yet but I've got a lot of people to thank, I do know that."

Aldean also started the night with a strange feeling. He already won something, so was guaranteed not to go home empty-handed.

"It's been really humbling for me," Aldean said. "You look back at the last 10 years or so, and I realized that we have had a great run, but when something like this is coming up, this only comes out every 10 years, so you don't really think about it. I didn't even know it was something that was on the radar at this point that was coming up. It came out of the blue for me a little bit."

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Fans hoping to see Aldean perform in person will get their wish soon. Last week, he announced plans for his Ride All Night Tour to support the album Rearview Town. It kicks off on May 3 at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut and ends on Sept. 28 in Detroit.

Photo credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM