Stars Who Can't Stand Jason Aldean

Jason Aldean might be one of the most successful country music stars working today, but success doesn't necessarily always go hand-in-hand with popularity. Aldean is certainly no exception to this rule, considering the backlash the singer received in 2012, after paparazzi caught Aldean, then married to his first wife, making out with former American Idol contestant Brittany Kerr only two months after he was featured on the cover of People as a requisite family man. Aldean's dubious behavior has also extended further than his personal life, including less-than-deft responses to being named "King of the Bros" in the "bro-country" genre by Billboard and some cringe-inducing comments about female country music stars

Considering the evidence at hand, it's unsurprising that Aldean has managed to make a few enemies along the path to becoming one of the richest stars in country music — and some of those enemies happen to be country stars themselves. So which celebrities don't exactly get along with the "Dirt Road Anthem" crooner? Let's take a look. 

Darius Rucker had words with Jason Aldean

A misstep by country singer Jason Aldean in 2013 nearly sparked an all-out feud with a performer whose music has more or less earned a reputation as the definition of chill — we're talking about Hootie & the Blowfish singer Darius Rucker. As Country Rebel reported, Aldean purportedly caused a stir when he decided to exclude Rucker from appearing in his music video for the single "1994." That was the year Hootie's debut album, Cracked Rear View, broke out onto the scene — becoming one of the best-selling albums of all time — so the band's absence from a video full of celeb cameos (including Thomas Rhett, Luke Bryan, and Hayden Panetierre) supposedly bruised Rucker's ego. 

"Darius was mad at me because I didn't put him in my '1994' video," Aldean said in a video recorded backstage at the 2017 Academy of Country Music Awards and posted to his Instagram. Rucker appeared alongside Aldean in that clip, shaking his head. "I told him, man, 'I can't believe you didn't put me in the video, 'cause you know I was doing all right in 1994," said the Hootie frontman.

"You were Mr. 1994," Aldean admitted, kissing Rucker on the forehead. Rucker laughed and agreed: "I am Mr. 1994!"

Jason Aldean tried to deflect a Zac Brown dis

We'd like to think good friends always have each others' backs, but sometimes, sticking up for a pal could lead to trouble of your own. Unfortunately, Jason Aldean found himself in a bit of hot water while trying to defend his friend and fellow country star Luke Bryan from barbs thrown by the titular frontman of the Zac Brown Band

As Taste of Country reported in September 2013, the whole shlimazel started when Brown shared some thoughts about Bryan's then-newly released single, "That's My Kind of Night," during an interview with the Vancouver radio station JRFM. Brown reportedly called it "one of the worst songs" he'd ever heard. Though Brown clarified that he counted Bryan as a close friend, he also stated that his pal's single represented the "tailgate in the moonlight, daisy duke" bro-country subgenre and was a lot less than Bryan's fans deserved.

Though Aldean did not mention Brown by name after the interview hit the media mill, he did take to Instagram to deliver a personal response to what was very likely Brown's commentary. "I hear some other artist [sic] are bashing my boy Luke Bryan's new song," Aldean wrote in the post. "To those people runnin' their mouths, trust me when I tell you that nobody gives a s**t what you think." Ouch. 

Jason Aldean was accused of stealing from Brantley Gilbert

When it comes to the entertainment industry — or any industry, for that matter — perhaps one of the biggest cardinal sins is that of plagiarism, so when Jason Aldean became embroiled in a possible song theft controversy, the ordeal prompted a big backlash and pitted the star against a genre tastemaker ... well, sort of. 

As Country Music Nation noted in its breakdown of the debacle, the success of Aldean's 2010 album, "My Kinda Party," was due in part to the lyrical stylings of singer-songwriter Brantley Gilbert, who penned the titular track as well as the party bop staple "Dirt Road Anthem." 

Gilbert released his own versions of those songs on his first two independent albums in 2009 and 2010 — the last of which came out six months before Aldean's My Kinda Party. When some of Gilbert's fans heard Aldean singing those tunes, they were quick to accuse Aldean of theft. 

"When that album came out, a lot of his fans were like, 'You're stealing Brantley's song!'" recounted Aldean in a December 2016 interview with Rolling Stone, adding that Gilbert took to his own Twitter account to set the record straight. Ultimately, the songs Gilbert wrote for My Kinda Party were responsible for both Aldean and Gilbert's success, and that working partnership has turned into a long-standing friendship. 

Sheryl Crow accused him of celebrating gun violence

All singer Sheryl Crow wants to do is have a little fun before she dies, but it seems one of Jason Aldean's fantasies is having an excuse to take up arms. In May 2023, Aldean cashed in on the culture wars by dropping "Try That in a Small Town." The song has a threatening tone and it seems designed to be an anthem for those on the alt-right who feel the most aggrieved by the whole of America not sharing their views. It paints urban areas as hotbeds of violence, but conversely, Aldean sings about behaving violently with enthusiasm: "Full of good ol' boys, raised up right / If you're looking for a fight / Try that in a small town." (Apparently, beatings are cool if you're somewhere with one stoplight.) He also mentions owning a gun.

Aldean, who hails from Macon, Georgia (the state's fourth-most-populated city), got called out on social media by a number of people who actually grew up in small towns, including Crow. "Even people in small towns are sick of violence," she tweeted. Crow also reminded Aldean about the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas, where Aldean was performing when a gunman opened fire and killed 58 people. "There's nothing small-town or American about promoting violence. You should know that better than anyone having survived a mass shooting," she continued. "This is not American or small town-like. It's just lame."

Jason Isbell's songwriting challenge for Jason Aldean

If you ignore the fact that he actually doesn't have any experience living in a small town, "Try That in a Small Town" seems to suit a cultural figure like Jason Aldean perfectly. After it causes offense, he can moan about the horrors of cancel culture, cash in — and lather, rinse, repeat. Per Rolling Stone, Aldean's rallying cry against cancel culture came during a July 2023 performance in Cincinnati. "If people don't like what you say, they try and make sure they can cancel you, which means try to ruin your life," he said. He then thanked the crowd for making him the exact opposite of canceled.

But, as singer-songwriter Jason Isbell observed, the words that were winning Aldean so much adoration from a certain slice of the population were not his own. "Dare Aldean to write his next single himself. That's what we try in my small town," Isbell tweeted. It took a pretty large team to write "Try That in a Small Town": Kurt Allison, Tully Kennedy, Kelley Lovelace, and Neil Thrasher. So, yeah, Aldean relies heavily on others to figure out how he can effectively use outrage and resentment for financial gain. However, Isbell thinks it's time for Aldean to prove he can use his own voice to share his divisive views with country music fans. "I'm challenging you to write a song yourself. All alone. If you're a recording artist, make some art," Isbell wrote.