Jason Aldean Says ACM Awards Are 'Overdue' For a Female Entertainer of the Year

Jason Aldean is the reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year for the third year in a row, beating out Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Chris Stapleton and Keith Urban to take home the night's highest honor. But if Aldean has his way, next year the category will include some of country music's female hitmakers as well.

"I think when the first ballot comes through, there's like 50 people on the ballot, and for whatever reason, there were no females this year," Aldean shared backstage at the ACM Awards. "But I definitely think there's some that are worthy of being there, for sure. Miranda [Lambert], Carrie [Underwood]. I told Lauren Alaina tonight, I was like, 'Man, you sang your behind off tonight.' She sounded amazing."

"So you got her and Kelsea [Ballerini]," he continued, "some new ones coming up; Maren [Morris], who I think is phenomenal, too. So I definitely think there's some that should be represented in there and honestly, down the road, if they happen to win one, I'll be the first one up congratulating them 'cause I think it's probably a little overdue."

Not that Aldean is complaining about his Entertainer trophy. The Georgia native found the reward especially meaningful, since it occurred in the same place a gunman forced him offstage six months ago at the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting.

"I think from now on, we will sort of forever be linked to Vegas," Aldean said. "And I've said this a lot over the last few months, but for the one horrible night we had here, I've had a million great ones. And tonight was a million and one. It's like, I've had some really big moments of my career happen here, and I love this town, I love the city. And it's a little different vibe for us, coming back here, when something like that happens."

The singer admitted it was difficultreturning to the city where there was so much devastation.

"It's been tough," he conceded. "It's been tough coming back here. It's like the first thing everybody wants to talk about is that night, and it's not something I really like to talk about a whole lot and relive. But, I know there's a lot of people out here who were there and went through that with us. And it's just one of those things that I always want those people to know that we think about them all the time.

"We're kind of forever bonded with those people, so you kind of have a special place in your heart for them," added Aldean. "Coming out here, winning the award, and just sort of that capping off the ACMs for us after everything that's gone down, it's a pretty special thing for us."


Aldean will kick off his High Noon Neon Tour on May 10. Find dates on his website.

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