[lastfm]Jason Aldine[/lastfm] Williams (born February 28, 1977 in Macon, Georgia) is an American country music singer, known professionally as Jason Aldean. He has recorded two albums on the independent Broken Bow Records label: 2005’s Jason Aldean and 2007’s Relentless, which have been certified platinum and gold, respectively, by the RIAA. These two albums have produced a total of six singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including the Number One hit “Why” in mid-2006. A seventh single, “She’s Country”, was released in November 2008.
Aldean’s parents, Barry and Debbie, divorced when he was three. He was raised by his mother, mainly in Macon, Georgia. During the summer he would spend time with his father in Homestead, Florida.
Before going to work during the day, his dad would map out guitar chords on notebook paper to show Jason where to place his fingers to play the chords. Jason sat and practiced all day while his dad was at work. When his dad got home, he got out his own guitar and they played together. Soon, after hearing a song only a few times, he could play it. His early favorites included George Strait’s “The Cowboy Rides Away”, Hank Williams Jr.’s “The Blues Man”, and Alabama’s “My Home’s in Alabama”.
Both parents encouraged young Jason as he progressed musically. From age 14, after watching the country-music awards on TV, he wanted to perform on stage. With his mother’s help, he performed at the local VFW hall in Macon, Georgia. He sang John Anderson’s song “Seminole Wind” and Tracy Lawrence’s “Sticks and Stones”. He would later say that the entire audience — all ten — applauded, and that he almost had to be dragged off the stage because he was hooked on performing. He began performing at area talent contests and local fairs. At 15, he joined the “house band” at the Macon, Ga nightspot Nashville South. A year later, he used his singing earnings to buy his first car.
After high school, with his father’s help, Aldean and his band performed in college towns in Florida, Alabama, and Georgia, and then further up the southeastern seaboard. With one of the band’s members, Justin Weaver, Aldean began writing songs. In 1998 he performed his original songs at a showcase staged by Atlanta nightclub The Buckboard. He was approached by Michael Knox, then of the Warner-Chappell song-publishing company. After signing with Warner-Chappell, Aldean moved to Music City on November 1, 1998 at age 21.
A month after moving to Music City, Aldean was offered a recording contract but was subsequently dropped. He signed with another label but again was dropped in 2000. Various showcases failed to bring him a contract. Finally, Lawrence Mathis spotted Jason at one of the showcases at The Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville. Mathis signed as Aldean’s manager. Still frustrated and discouraged with his struggling career, Aldean gave himself six months before planning to leave Nashville and return home to Georgia. Soon after, he was offered a deal from Broken Bow Records in Nashville.
On August 4, 2001, Aldean married his high-school sweetheart, Jessica Ussery. Their daughter, Keeley, was born February 14, 2003. Their second daughter, Kendyl, was born August 20, 2007.