From hicktown to big time

From hicktown  to big time

Fresh off dual nominations at the 46th annual Academy of Country Music Awards for Entertainer of the Year and Top Male Vocalist, country music’s hottest act Jason Aldean returns to Beaumont on Friday, May 6 and this time it will be his sort of party.

After selling out Ford Arena in January 2010, Aldean will play outdoors at Ford Pavilion on the My Kinda Party Tour, which features fellow musicians Eric Church and the JaneDear Girls.

Advance tickets are on sale for $49.75 (reserved) and $28 (lawn) at the Ford Park Box Office and all Ticketmaster locations including Ticketmaster.com and charge by phone at (800) 745-3000. Additional fees will apply at the Ticketmaster outlets.

“We are thrilled to have an artist of Jason’s caliber returning to Ford Park and bringing his new show to the outdoor Pavilion for a new experience for fans in Southeast Texas,” says John Hughes, Ford Park’s General Manager.

The 34-year-old Georgia native is touring in support of last November’s release, My Kinda Party on Broken Bow Records. In less than six months, the album reached platinum status, selling over one million copies and becoming his second No. 1 release on the Billboard Country Album chart.

Three singles have reached radio airwaves from the release including “My Kinda Party,” “Dirt Road Anthem” and his fifth No. 1 single, “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” which is the popular duet with pop singer Kelly Clarkson.

“Kelly has such a distinct voice,” said Aldean about the song. “She’s got the most soulful voice there is right now. As soon as she opened her mouth and started singing in the studio, it was like, ‘That is what this song is supposed to sound like!”

The commercial success along with radio airplay garnered Aldean two major nominations at the ACM Awards held in early April.Born in Macon, Aldean’s parents were separated at a very early age so he spent time on his cousin’s 200-acre farm in Georgia while spending summers with his father in Florida.

“I grew up listenin’ to all kinds of music—rock and Southern rock and country and blues and rap stuff, too,” said Aldean. “My cousin, who’s five months older than me, he went through his rap phase when we had 2Pac in the car all the time. Really, I’m a fan of all kinds of music.”It all started when Aldean first sang at a local VFW hall in Macon at the age of 14. Some seven years later, he moved to Nashville to pursue a dream, but struggled by signing two record deals that never amounted to much.

Ready to return home, Aldean was convinced to play one more showcase for independent label Broken Bow. The rest is history.“I think about it every day,” said Aldean. “When you read that I was this close to leaving, it sounds like something made up. But it was the truth. I had applied for jobs in Georgia, and I was trying to get hired down there. We were broke—just straight-up broke—and we were gonna move in with my mom so we could get on our feet and get straightened out…maybe get a club gig and try to build a local following.”It was more than just local. In 2005, Aldean released his first self-titled record and it became an instant success. Selling over one million copies, the album produced the catchy tune, “Hicktown,” “Amarillo Sky” and his first No. 1 single, “Why.” He went on to win the Solo Vocalist of the Year in 2006 at the ACM Awards.

No worries about a sophomore slump as Aldean returned in 2007 with Relentless. Three singles charted including a former song by Tracy Byrd, “Johnny Cash.”

Wide Open is probably the most successful release to date as the 2009 album produced three No. 1 singles including “She’s Country,” “Big Green Tractor” and “The Truth.”

Church is no stranger to the music scene. The 33-year-old singer was recently named the Top New Solo Vocalist at the ACM Awards and has released two albums on the Capital Nashville label, both of which landed in the Top 10.

Popular songs include “How ‘Bout You,” “Two Pink Lines,” “Guys Like Me,” “Love Your Love the Most,” “Smoke a Little Smoke” and “Homeboy,” which is a new single from the upcoming untitled album due out in June.

Susie Brown and Danelle Leverett make up the Amarillo duo the JaneDear Girls, who also were nominated for Top Vocal Duo and Top New Vocal Duo or Group at the ACM Awards. “Wildflower” and “Shotgun Girl” were the two singles released off their self-titled debut album on Reprise Nashville.

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