By Erin Duvall, Radio.com

Jason Aldean ain’t no Susan Lucci. Granted, the singer-songwriter hasn’t been nominated for the ACM Entertainer title as many as Lucci was nominated for an Emmy (she lost 19 times before winning), but he was up for it in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015. Aldean, like much of his competition in this category, does it all: he writes, sings and puts on an amazing show.

Unlike the other nominees in this category, Aldean built his fandom without the help of a major record label. The Georgia native instead signed with Broken Bow Records, an independent label that is now home to Trace Adkins, Thompson Square and Randy Houser, among others. Why is that significant? Well, historically the majority of the songs on the country charts are released by artists on major labels (or who have partnerships with major labels, such as Garth Brooks). Over the course of his career Aldean has scored twelve No. 1 hits, with four more reaching No. 2.

In addition to massive airplay (and surely, because of it), Aldean sell lots of records. All of his LPs have been certified platinum for selling in excess of one million albums sold, with My Kinda Party hitting three million.

In 2015, he had two huge singles: “Tonight Looks Good on You” topped the country charts, while “Gonna Know We Were Here” hit No. 2. He also concluded his highly successful Burn it Down tour, which included Florida Georgia Line, Tyler Farr and fellow ACM Entertainer of the Year nominee Miranda Lambert. In the summer of 2015, Aldean co-headlined ten stadium shows with Kenny Chesney, and the Burn it Down tour also included four stops at Major League Baseball stadiums as well. Aldean played to more than a million people and earned an estimated nearly $70 million.

Aldean also uses his platform to go beyond entertaining: at each stop on the tour, he honored one breast cancer survivor; at the end of the tour, he donated $600,000 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation of South Florida. And that activism combined with his dominance in record sales, radio play and touring receipts makes a compelling argument why he should be this year’s ACM Entertainer of the Year. It’s about time.

The ACM Awards air live from MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 3rd at 8:00pm ET on CBS.

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