- Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan travel to Atlanta on "My Kinda Party" tour
- The pair of country singers are friends outside the music business, Aldean says
- He's also stepping out his comfort zone, collaborating with Ludacris
- Hunting, golfing and a couple of clothing lines keep Aldean busy
It was two hours before Friday's concert, and already fans of Jason Aldean were tailgating in the gravel parking lot. Not surprising since Aldean's "My Kinda Party" tour has sold out in venues across the country, often in under a couple of hours.
Last week, the singer's latest single, "Fly Over States," hit the top of the charts, marking his ninth No. 1 overall and his fifth consecutive No. 1 from the "My Kinda Party" album.
Aldean's sound is a little bit country and a little bit rock 'n' roll. Introspective songs such as "Amarillo Sky" and "Don't You Wanna Stay" have earned him big sales numbers, but concert fans clamor for his more upbeat numbers such as "She's Country."
He's also not afraid to step outside his comfort zone -- "Dirt Road Anthem" was a collaboration with Ludacris that had Aldean rapping about jumping barbed wire and lighting bonfires. Still, it surprised more than few people in the audience Friday when Ludacris appeared onstage with Aldean during the encore to perform the hit song.
While tour buddy Luke Bryan has an infectious eagerness on stage, Aldean rarely breaks his brooding stare. That doesn't change backstage as his tour manager brings him in. He's friendly, but no overly so. I get the impression that manners are as ingrained in this Georgia homeboy as deep as his music.
The following interview has been edited for brevity and clarity:
CNN: This show in Atlanta sold out in minutes, so you had to add a second night. What does that tell you about your fans?
Jason Aldean: Obviously that's a good sign. We've always made it a point to let fans know that when you come out to our shows, it's going to be fun. You're going to have a good time, and we encourage that -- probably a lot more than other people do. (laughs) But that's what you want.