Jason Aldean ‘Try That in a Small Town’ Controversy Leads to Massive Sales, Streaming Spike
Two weeks ago, about 1,000 people bought a download of Jason Aldean's "Try That in a Small Town." Last week, nearly 228,000 paid for the song.
This spike in sales is the result of fresh attention to the singer's latest radio single, brought about when he released the music video on July 14. It doesn't stop there.
- Streams went from less than 1 million to 11.7 million in a week.
- Plays on the YouTube version of the music video soared from a respectable 350K to 16.6 million.
- In a very short amount of time, it became the fourth best-selling song of 2023.
- The Hollywood Reporter shared Luminate's findings on the song.
"Try That in a Small Town" dropped in May, and it was slowly making its way up country radio airplay charts until a group of country fans began to object to lyrics they found to be pro-violence and (in some cases) racist. Aldean has angrily refuted those concerns, point out that there is no mention of race and that the small town he's describing is similar to the community he grew up in.
The music video added fuel to the protests, with images of people burning the American flag and looting. Critics felt it took aim at the Black Lives Matter movement and promoted gun violence. Several scenes were filmed at the Maury County Courthouse, where the body of an 18-year-old Black man named Henry Choate was hanged in 1927.
The weekly Billboard Country Charts are published on Monday afternoons, and this week's listings see Aldean's single jump directly to the No. 1 spot on the Hot Country Songs chart. The situation is reminiscent of a surge of support for Morgan Wallen in the days and weeks after he used the N-word in 2021. His Dangerous: The Double Album soared to No. 1 and remained there for most of two years.