Jason Aldean introduced a new song and a new style while performing his latest radio single, Dirt Road Anthem, at the ACM Awards in Las Vegas tonight. The song, which is already a favorite amongst Aldean fans, verges on hip-hop during the verse, before turning to a memorably melodic chorus.
Aldean entered the MGM Grand Garden Arena stage wearing a black leather vest over a red and white country-plaid shirt. While fans and country music friends screamed, he flashed a quiet, confident smile from beneath his straw cowboy hat, pulled low over his eyes.
The performance didn't have any of the theatrics or special guest appearances others have had tonight. The spotlight was on the song, which even the songwriters were surprised to see Aldean pull off on his 'My Kinda Party' album.
Colt Ford and Brantley Gilbert penned the song, which is about country living along a dirt road in Georgia. Aldean is also a Georgia native, but until now he hadn't borrowed from the world of rap on a record. "Jason was the last person I thought I would want it," Ford told Taste of Country last week. "But he has made this song his own." If Aldean was nervous to go beyond his comfortable rock and heartfelt stylings, he didn't show it on this night.