Jason Aldean was given the Artist of the Decade at tonight’s Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas.
Jason performed “Lights Come On” after an introduction from the previous Artist of the Decade George Strait.
Kelly Clarkson then joined Jason on stage to perform their duet “Don’t You Wanna Stay.”
Aldean then sang “Dirt Road” to the crowd while from their seats both Luke Bryan and Keith Urban sang along knowing every word.
Strait then presented the honor. Aldean said, pointing to Strait, “That’s the reason I wear the cowboy hat right there so thank you so very much.” He then name-checked a number of his peers in the audience, including Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan and Keith Urban.
Aldean is a three-time winner of the ACM’s Entertainer of the Year honor.
The Artist of the Decade Award is presented to an artist or group who has dominated country music over the decade, through success at radio, digital media, sales and streaming, distinguishing events, touring, television appearances, and artistic merit.
Jason joins only five other honorees that have received the ACM Artist of the Decade Award: Marty Robbins in 1969, Loretta Lynn in 1979, Alabama in 1988, Garth Brooks in 1998 and George Strait in 2008.
This Award was renamed the ACM Dick Clark Artist of the Decade Award after Clark passed away in 2012, in recognition of his many years as the ACM Awards producer and early host.