Jason Aldean accepted a tremendously important award on Sunday (April 7) at the 2019 Academy of Country Music Awards: The Artist of the Decade honor, which was renamed for music industry legend Dick Clark following his passing in 2012. Aldean's acceptance of the award marks the first time it was received in Clark's name.

Aldean was introduced to the stage by the current holder of the title, George Strait. "Over the past ten years, there has been a lot of change in our industry — new artists, new sounds, new ways to listen to the songs," Strait noted. "But one thing that has stayed the same is Jason Aldean's ability to connect with his fans and light a fire with his music."

In celebration of the win, Aldean and pop singer Kelly Clarkson shared a throwback duet: The two performed their hit "Don't You Wanna Stay."

Aldean and Clarkson dropped "Don't You Wanna Stay" in late 2010. Written by Andy Gibson, Paul Jenkins and Jason Sellers, the song became a multi-platinum, No. 1 hit, and crossed over to the Top 40 (No. 9) and Adult Contemporary (No. 3) charts. The song earned them nods at both the CMA Awards and Grammy Awards. It also won them two ACM Awards: Single of the Year and Vocal Event of the Year.

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Although that duet clearly delighted the audience, Aldean gave them a little more, launching solo into his "Dirt Road Anthem," which in 2011 was a pioneering hybrid between country and rap.

Following the performance, Aldean then stepped back for Strait, who simply noted, "Jason, it's an honor to present you with the ACM Dick Clark Artist of the Decade award."

"That's the reason I wear the cowboy hat right here," replied a dazed Aldean. After demurring that there were many other peers who were equally as deserving as he was of the award, the singer thanked his family, and added, "More than anything, thank you to the country music fans, and country radio, you guys have changed my life forever."

A three-time ACM Entertainer of the Year, Aldean is receiving the Dick Clark Artist of the Decade honor for his contributions to country music throughout the 2010s. He was also nominated for Entertainer of the Year at the 2019 ACM Awards, though the statue went to Keith Urban.

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