Country Fans to Hear Exclusive Audio Stories and Insights From Aldean Into the Making of Second Single from His 11th Album, “Highway Desperado”
ATLANTA, GA – December 11, 2023 — Cumulus Media (NASDAQ: CMLS) announces the launch today of the eleventh installment of its exclusive multi-part audio series, Your Music First, featuring Country superstar Jason Aldean’s new single, “Let Your Boys Be Country.” The campaign will air over the next eight weeks on Cumulus Media’s Country radio stations across the U.S. and will share personal stories and insights from the Broken Bow Records multi-platinum singer about the making of the anthem and what the song means to him as the father of four children. “Let Your Boys Be Country” is the second single from Aldean’s 11th album, Highway Desperado. The lead single, “Try That in a Small Town,” topped Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart as well as becoming Aldean’s first No. 1 on the all-genre Hot 100 chart.
Greg Frey, VP of Music Partnerships, Cumulus Media, said: “It’s exciting to partner with BBR Music Group and bring “Let Your Boys Be Country” by one of the format’s leading voices to our listeners through Your Music First. Since the beginning with “Hicktown” and to this day, Jason continues to push Country into the future through great songs, progressive production, and the ability to connect with the audience. YMF furthers that connection by pairing the new song with exclusive audio content from Jason.”
Shelley Hargis, Vice President Radio Syndication & Group Strategy, BBR Music Group, said: “We couldn’t be more excited for Jason Aldean and “Let Your Boys Be Country” to be the next Your Music First choice for Cumulus! After 28 #1 Singles, multi-platinum sales, and numerous awards including being the ‘Artist of the Decade’, it’s so wonderful to see Jason STILL at the top of his game, and at the top of the game in general. This song is so special too, with his son Memphis being in the music video with him. We couldn’t be more proud and honored to be the home of Jason Aldean, and we are so thankful to Cumulus for choosing this as their next YMF!”
Cumulus Media debuted the high-profile Your Music Firstcampaign in February to highlight new music in a unique way by sharing with radio listeners the thoughts of the biggest stars in different formats in a series of revealing and exclusive vignettes across AC, Alternative, CHR, Country, Hot AC, Rock and Urban formats. The shows feature artist commentary on the song, with artists presenting different aspects of their song’s personal meaning, the inspiration behind the music, and insights on their life and career. Previous Your Music First campaigns have featured Valory Music Co. recording artist Thomas Rhett’s “Angels (Don’t Always Have Wings),”Republic Records recording artist Shania Twain’s “Giddy Up!,”Capitol Records Nashville recording artist Darius Rucker’s “Fires Don’t Start Themselves,” Thirty Seconds To Mars’ “Stuck,” Atlantic Records recording artist Janelle Monáe’s “Lipstick Lover,” Broken Bow Records recording artist Lainey Wilson’s “Watermelon Moonshine,” Warner Music Nashville recording artists Dan + Shay’s “Save Me The Trouble,” Atlantic Records recording artist Gucci Mane’s “There I Go,” and Arista Records recording artist Mäneskin’s “Honey (Are U Coming?).”
About Cumulus Media
Cumulus Media (NASDAQ: CMLS) is an audio-first media company delivering premium content to over a quarter billion people every month — wherever and whenever they want it. Cumulus Media engages listeners with high-quality local programming through 403 owned-and-operated radio stations across 85 markets; delivers nationally-syndicated sports, news, talk, and entertainment programming from iconic brands including the NFL, the NCAA, the Masters, CNN, the AP, the Academy of Country Music Awards, and many other world-class partners across more than 9,400 affiliated stations through Westwood One, the largest audio network in America; and inspires listeners through the Cumulus Podcast Network, its rapidly growing network of original podcasts that are smart, entertaining and thought-provoking. Cumulus Media provides advertisers with personal connections, local impact and national reach through broadcast and on-demand digital, mobile, social, and voice-activated platforms, as well as integrated digital marketing services, powerful influencers, full-service audio solutions, industry-leading research and insights, and live event experiences. Cumulus Media is the only audio media company to provide marketers with local and national advertising performance guarantees. For more information visit www.cumulusmedia.com.
About Jason Aldean
There’s power in knowing who you are, what you stand for and who your people are. An artist who knows their audience knows how to celebrate their triumphs and give voice to their heartaches. That entertainer knows how to really connect. Jason Aldean has proven, over and over again, he’s that caliber of artist. Such passion and conviction breeds trust and respect. Aldean earns it yet again on his 11th album Highway Desperado. Aldean has always had an ear for finding relatable songs and championing Nashville’s best songwriters. He continues that approach on his new album, and he also got in the trenches with some of his favorite collaborators to co-write three standout songs — “Hungover in a Hotel,” “Breakup Breakdown” and the potent title track. The result is an expansive 14-song collection that includes the anthemic salute to his fan base “Tough Crowd,” a haunting exploration of a breakup in “Whose Rearview” and “Try That in a Small Town,” the lead single that has already topped Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart as well as becoming Aldean’s first No. 1 on the all-genre Hot 100 chart.
“Try That in a Small Town” is just the latest in a long string of successes for the three-time Academy of Country Music (ACM) Entertainer of the Year and reigning ACM Entertainer of the Decade. With 15 ACM wins to his credit, the Macon, GA native has sold more than 20 million albums, earned over 18 billion streams and scored 27 No. 1 hits, among them “Dirt Road Anthem,” “Fly Over States,” “Night Train,” “Got What I Got” and “If I Didn’t Love You,” a duet with Carrie Underwood that won ACM Single of the Year honors. Since signing with Broken Bow Records in 2005, the Grammy-nominated entertainer has placed more Top Ten singles on the Hot Country Songs chart than any other artist.
Highway Desperado is poised to throw fuel on an already blazing fire, and its November 3rd release date comes just three days after Aldean will mark his 25th anniversary in Nashville. “I moved to town as a 21-year-old kid who had never left home before and to go from that to where it is now in the last 25 years has been really wild,” Aldean says. “For six or seven years there, it was pretty rough. I came here with everything I owned in a little U-Haul trailer. My dad helped me move into my apartment and then he left. I was just sitting there on the couch going, ‘Alright, well what do I do now? I’ve got no friends, no family here and it just sucks.’ But I toughed it out and here we are. It was a good learning experience. Moving to town and not having any friends around helped me to concentrate on what I was here to do, write songs and get my career off the ground. The last 18 years have been amazing. To think when I came to town, I didn’t know what I was doing, and here we are 25 years later, bigger than ever, it’s pretty cool.”
Aldean has carved a successful career built on great songs and powerful performances. His live shows are legendary and on Highway Desperado, he pays tribute to his loyal audience with the rowdy opener “Tough Crowd.” “That song is for our fan base. When we’re playing shows, I have the best view in the house,” he grins. “I look down and there’s some big burly guy that looks like he probably drives a truck and he’s singing every word to the ballads. Then, there’s a group of college kids partying, and from my vantage point on stage, it’s a cool sight. Our crowds are amazing, and there’s a wide range of people. It’s a tough crowd out there and that’s the song that we open our show with every night.”
Aldean says the album title was actually inspired by the name he came up with for the tour. He then called frequent collaborators Kurt Allison, Jonathan Edwards, Tully Kennedy and John Morgan to help him craft the autobiographical song. “I’ve spent a majority of my adult life on the road, never sitting still for too long,” Aldean shares. “Every week, I’m on a bus, hitting the road going somewhere to play a show, so it felt like a fitting term for a traveling musician that does what we do. I thought it was a cool name for the tour and then it turned into a song that’s one of my favorites on the album.”
The album’s second single, the muscular anthem “Let Your Boys Be Country,” is connecting strongly with Aldean’s crowd, and it’s a song that hits close to home for the father of four. “I have three daughters and one son. As a dad, it’s my place to raise him and make him a good man and a good person. I want to teach him all the things he needs to know in a world that’s pretty wild right now. Let them be little kids. Let them grow up and figure out who they are. Let them get dirty and play in the mud. Let them fish, hunt and do all these things that are going to shape them in the future. This is a song that made me think about my son, and I fell in love with it as soon as I heard it.”
“Whose Rearview” is a powerful song about the aftermath of a failed relationship and the blame game
that usually ensues. “When anybody goes through a breakup, the girlfriend is blaming the guy and the guy is going, ‘Man, it didn’t really happen like that,’” Aldean says. “This song basically just says, ‘Whose fault is it? It all depends on whose rearview you’re looking through.’ It’s a really great way to write that song and the vibe is really cool.”
Aldean says “Whose Rearview” and “Whiskey Drink” were key to Highway Desperado becoming the
album it is. “Those two songs really shaped where we were going and what kind of sound the album was going to have,” he says. “They are mid to up tempo type songs and even though they are breakup songs they are a little tougher. It’s not like a crying in my beer kind of breakup thing. It’s more of an attitude, and sonically they helped define where we wanted to go because those songs were so cool. We felt like what we locked into sounded great.”
Aldean long ago developed a reputation for delivering songs that are musically adventurous and lyrically substantive. Representing the common man, much like the legendary Merle Haggard, Aldean isn’t afraid to say what his audience feels and “Try That in a Small Town” is a perfect example. “It just resonated with people,” he says of the chart-topping hit.
On Highway Desperado, Aldean once again works with his longtime producer Michael Knox. After having made 10 previous albums, Aldean is grateful for the experience he’s gained. “With each album, we got more comfortable in the studio, and as we were having hits, got more comfortable with picking the direction of the albums. You learn with each record,” he says. “I like to go back and listen to each album and think that it’s gotten better each time, so you take all that stuff into the studio the following album. When we go in, we know what we’re in there to do. We know we can push the limits a little bit on some things and just see where it goes so that’s the mentality going into every record. I trust my gut instinct when it comes to picking songs and for whatever reason, it’s worked out.”
To say it’s “worked out” is a modest understatement. Song by song and show by show, Aldean has built one of the most successful careers in any genre of music. “I’ve been able to do a lot of things that I never thought would be possible. We’ll do this until the damn wheels fall off,” Aldean says with a laugh.
Lisa Dollinger, Dollinger Strategic Communication for Cumulus Media, 512.633.4084, firstname.lastname@example.org.