Jason Aldean was nominated for the Academy of Country Music’s Entertainer of the Year award in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015. Tonight, the Georgia singer walked home with the trophy for the first time, winning over Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, Garth Brooks and ACM host Luke Bryan.
“I was starting to think this one just wasn’t in the cards for me,” Aldean said upon taking the stage at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand. He went on to thank a group that included his wife Brittany, his producer Michael Knox, country radio and Broken Bow Records. “I may be rough around the edges a little bit but I love this business,” he concluded. “This is one of the best nights of my professional career.”
Aldean was also nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year, which was won by Chris Stapleton. The award was presented by Tom Hiddleston, who plays Hank Williams in new biopic I Saw the Light. “As an Englishman and an actor, I feel like a guest at this party,” he told the crowd. “But my god you guys know how to have fun.”
As if to prove him right, Luke Bryan congratulated Aldean by rushing the stage and planting a jumping bear hug on his friend and collaborator.