Fans angry at Jason Aldean’s CMT Music Awards performance forced CMT to finally take down the song’s music video. ttmd

Fans Say Jason Aldean’s CMT Music Awards Performance Is ‘Ironic’ Months After Banned Music Video

The network previously pulled the music video for Aldean’s controversial song, ‘Try That in A Small Town.’

TWIN LAKES, WISCONSIN - JULY 22: Jason Aldean performs onstage at Country Thunder Wisconsin - Day 3 on July 22, 2023 in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin. (Photo by Joshua Applegate/Getty Images)

Jason Aldean performed at the 2024 CMT Music Awards—and viewers at home had some thoughts.

The 47-year-old country crooner took the stage at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas, on Sun., April 7, where he played the audience his 2023 song “Let Your Boys Be Country.”

Aldean stepped up to his microphone with authority, his cream-colored wide-brimmed hat shadowing his face as he sang while strumming his guitar. His live audience was instantly supportive, waving their hands in the air in time to the beat as Aldean belted out the lyrics.

But fans online didn’t appear to be quite as impressed. While some diehard Aldean fans were quick to praise the “Big Green Tractor” singer on X, others had several points of criticism they wanted to take up with the performance, many of which stemmed from the controversy that surrounded Aldean’s 2023 song “Try that in a Small Town.” The CMTs ultimately pulled the song’s music video, a point that some viewers suggested made Aldean’s April 7 appearance on the CMT stage “ironic.”

“It’s very ironic Jason Aldean is performing at the CMT Music Awards,” one fan wrote on X.

“Very shocked Jason Aldean preformed at the CMT Awards,” another agreed.

“I didn’t like #jasonaldean before and now that he appears on #CMTAwards I like him less,” one X user said. “Dude, they banned you and called you racist.”

“Ironic @Jason_Aldean performs despite the @CMT network banned a controversial video of his!” another fan said.

Some viewers made jokes out of their opposition to Aldean’s performance.

“Watching a movie for 3 minutes while @jasonaldean performs at the @CMT awards,” one fan wrote as another joked, “Televised Jason Aldean performances are why God made mute buttons.”

The performance came months after one of Aldean’s music videos was pulled from airing on the CMT TV network as a result of public backlash over its controversial messaging.

The video for the track “Try That in A Small Town” was removed from the network’s rotation in July 2023, following criticism over what many perceived to be racist undertones in both the song’s lyrics and in scenes from the music video. A CMT spokesperson confirmed to USA TODAY at the time that the video was no longer being aired.

The decision came after viewers noticed that scenes in Aldean’s video had been shot at the Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, Tenn., the same setting where an 18-year-old Black man named Henry Choate was lynched in 1927 after he was falsely accused of attacking a white girl, per the New York Times.

Some of the song’s lyrics also raised eyebrows, including the lines, “Cuss out a cop, spit in his face / Stomp on the flag and light it up / Yeah, ya think you’re tough / Well, try that in a small town.”

“See how far ya make it down the road / Around here, we take care of our own / You cross that line, it won’t take long / For you to find out, I recommend you don’t / Try that in a small town,” Aldean also says in the song.

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