Jason Aldean’s ‘They Don’t Know’: Behind the Song, ACMs Edition

By Radio.com Staff

“Behind the Song” gives fans an inside look into some of the best songs by the year’s ACM Awards nominees. Here, Jason Aldean — who is nominated for Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year — talks about “They Don’t Know,” the title track of his 2016 album.

“They Don’t Know” was written for Aldean by Kurt Allison, Jaron Boyer and Josh Mirenda, but it expresses a sentiment that Aldean has felt often when seeing how rural people are portrayed in the media.

Aldean tells Radio.com, “Being where I’m from in Georgia, growing up on the outskirts of Macon, you have people that — for lack of a better term — come from [air quotes] ‘the big city,’ they have a tendency to sort of look down on things that they really don’t understand and don’t know. I think that happens a lot.”

Related: Jason Aldean on ‘Any Ol’ Barstool’: ‘It Brings Me Back to My Country Roots’

He points to films — which are rarely directed or produced by people from rural communities — as a prime example. “You look at an L.A. movie producer who is directing a movie about small towns, and it’s like [you see] every stereotype you could imagine. Why? Because they don’t understand. They’ve never lived in those places; they’ve never experienced those things. People that look down on something or frown upon something they really don’t understand or don’t know about it. And to me, the song says it perfectly, and I can relate to that just growing up in Georgia where I did.”

He notes that, as much as he’s traveled since becoming a stadium-headlining star, he still loves small towns. “I think that no matter how much you travel… at this point I’ve traveled a lot; I’ve seen a lot of the world at this point. And at the end of the day, I’m a country kid from Georgia that got really lucky.”

Watch the ACM Awards on CBS on Sunday, April 2 at 8 pm ET/7 CT.


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