(WTVO) — Country singer Jason Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town” has climbed to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 this week.
On a chart dated August 5th, Morgan Wallen’s “Last Night” placed at No. 2 and Luke Comb’s cover of “Fast Car” at No. 3, making it the first time in the chart’s 65-year history that Country songs have been in the top 3 spots.
“Well, yesterday was a monumental day for @jasonaldean,” Adean’s wife, Brittany, wrote. “#1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart!! …A career first That sure did backfire, didn’t it?? The best fans EVERRR.”
The song, first released in May, touches on violence, rioting, and looting that happened in large cities following George Floyd’s 2020 murder in Minneapolis, saying those actions wouldn’t be accepted in a small American town.
The video also shows the footage projected at the Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, Tennessee. Critics have pointed out that the courthouse was the site of the 1927 lynching of 18-year-old Henry Choate.
CMT pulled the video from rotation, touching off a wave of criticism over perceived messages of racism and violent retribution.
Aldean responded by saying the song “refers to the feeling of a community that I had growing up, where we took care of our neighbors, regardless of differences of background or belief. Because they were our neighbors, and that was above any differences.”
He denied that the song was intended as “pro-lynching” or that he was “not too pleased with the nationwide (Black Lives Matter) protests,” saying “These references are not only meritless but dangerous. There is not a single lyric in the song that references race or points to it — and there isn’t a single video clip that isn’t real news footage — and while I can try and respect others to have their own interpretation of a song with music — this one goes too far.”
In a performance in Boston over the weekend, Aldean told the crowd the song has nothing to do with race but about punishing those who threaten America.