Jason Aldean Defends 'Old Town Road' Success: 'I Got What It Was About'

When Billy Ray Cyrus helped Lil Nas X take "Old Town Road" to the top of the charts for 17 weeks, country music fans were mixed on if the song was really country or not. But not Jason Aldean. The reigning ACM Artist of the Decade says the song makes perfect sense, for any genre.

"I got it," Aldean told Apple Music's Beats 1's Zane Lowe. "I got what it was about, and you know, those kind of songs come along every now and then. It's something that just kind of takes the world by storm ... And I always say, a good way to tell that is when you have kids. Kids start listening to things and when they start making you sick of it after a couple weeks, you know that the song's pretty big."

Aldean knows a thing or two about big songs. The Georgia native recently celebrated his 23rd No. 1 hit, with "Rearview Town," which was the title track of his eighth studio album. Aldean just announced his ninth record, appropriately called 9, would be released on Nov. 22, with the debut single, "We Back," already at radio.

“Early on I always thought if we ever got to make nine albums, I’m going to call it 9," Aldean said about the new record. "It was my baseball number growing up, and it’s just kind of always been my lucky number. I remember cutting the first album and thinking 'that’s forever away,' and now here we are. I don’t know, it’s really special we made it this far – so, it’s more for me than anybody else – but, it means a lot."

"We Back," which was co-written by Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard, reminded Aldean of some of his early music, which is why he wanted to lead off 9 with the rowdy single.

"When I came into country music and made my mark, it was with a banger,” Aldean explained. “But we haven’t put out a lot of that stuff over the last couple years. So we got this song and to me it just says what it says: ‘Thought we were gone, but you’re wrong – now it’s on.’”

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Aldean only has a few more shows left on his Ride All Night Tour. Pre-order 9, and download "We Back" and three other tracks from 9: "Blame It On You," "I Don't Drink Anymore" and "Keep It Small Town," by visiting Aldean's website.

Photo Credit: Getty / Matt Winkelmeyer

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