Jason Aldean Gets Vulnerable About His Toby Keith Tribute and His Fears of Messing It Up

Having spent over 25 years in the music industry, Jason Aldean knows the importance of putting on a good show. Throughout his time in the spotlight, the country star watched as over 20 of his songs reached No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs or Country Airplay charts. But while knowing how to make a hit and how to entertain fans, Aldean recently discussed how honoring Toby Keith at the ACM Awards caused him a great deal of stress since he wanted nothing more than to not mess up. 

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Back in February, country music lost a star when Keith passed away at 62. Battling stomach cancer for the last several years, the country singer continued to entertain fans and promote country music. When he passed, the entire genre and countless fans took a moment to remember the icon. And at the ACM Awards, Aldean received the chance to sing “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.” 

Speaking on The Bobby Bones Show, Aldean opened up about the performance, explaining, “I felt like Toby deserved a great tribute for the career he had. I knew it was going to be a big night for his family and people that were going to be out there. To be honest, I just didn’t want to mess it up. I wanted to go out and give him a send-off that he deserved.”

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Jason Aldean Gains Praise From Toby Keith’s Family

While knowing Keith’s song, Aldean worried about his family and fans not liking how he slowed the song down. He added, “You just don’t know how people are going to take that. You know what I mean? If they’re going to like it, not like it, or whatever. So for us, it was trying to do something cool and different and something to honor him and his family. His wife texted me that night after the show, which was really the icing on the cake for me if [she] approved, I’m cool.”

Although worried about giving a perfect performance and how people would react, Keith’s family praised Aldean, writing on Twitter, “The Covel family would like to thank Jason Aldean for the wonderfully touching performance at the ACM Awards tonight. It was the perfect tribute to Toby Keith.”

(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

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