Aldean’s medley included some of his hits over the year. He started things off with “Lights Come On” before leading into “Don’t You Wanna Stay.” That song was originally recorded with Kelly Clarkson and (surprise!) she joined him for the song donning a sparkly blue gown. When their song ended, they embraced before Aldean sang another.
He rounded things out with “Dirt Road Anthem,” where he rapped the upbeat verse. Everyone seemed to enjoy that one but Luke Bryan seemed to enjoy it most of all.
After his performance, George Strait presented Aldean with his Artist of the Decade award. Strait said Aldean deserved it because he was able to “light a fire with his music.”
The Georgia native accepted the award graciously, saying Strait has influenced him since day one. “That’s the reason I wear the cowboy hat right here so thank you very much,” he said about The King of Country Music.
Aldean acknowledged the other talented artists that could have earned this award before thanking his family and, of course, his fans.