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"Country music still kind of fights the stereotypes a lot of times," acknowledges the singer (quote via CMT). But Jason is quick to add that he hopes that shows like this weekend's ACM Awards in Las Vegas help dispel the negative perception music fans have of the genre.
"We're having a country music show, and it's in one of the glitziest cities in the world, so it just shows you that we're not still sitting on hay bales passing out awards at these shows," the entertainer points out. "It's a big deal."
The 'Fly Over States' singer lands at Sunday's ceremony with half a dozen nominations, including the coveted Entertainer of the Year. And while he'd be thrilled to win a trophy, he insists it is an honor just to be nominated.
"It's cool to be noticed in just one of those categories," says the multiple nominee who will also perform on the awards telecast. "And then when you walk away from there and you have six nominations? It's a good feeling. It makes you excited to wanna go to the show. It's a completely different experience when you're heading out to Vegas and you know that you're up for that many awards."
Jason admits he has taken cues from a fellow Entertainer of the Year nominee as he amps up his career. "I look at guys like Kenny [Chesney]," Jason tells The Boot. "He was selling out arenas, so he moved into stadiums. You can't rush that move; you can't predict it. You just know when it's time. We knew it was time to move out of little theaters and into arenas, because our tickets were starting to sell out. I remember when Kenny started going in and selling out two nights at a place. We are starting to do that now. I bring Kenny up because I think he's had the biggest tour around for a long time. If you're gonna pattern your touring career after someone, he's the guy."
The 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards will air live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 1 at 8:00 PM ET on CBS.