“Try That In A Small Town” By Jason Aldean Tops The Hot Country Songs Chart & Reaches #2 On All-Genre Billboard Hot 100 Amid Controversy
On July 17, CMT removed the music video for Jason Aldean‘s “Try That In A Small Town.” The decision came after backlash from critics of the song’s lyrics and music video.
The video was filmed in front of the Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, Tennessee, where 18-year-old Henry Choate was lynched in 1927. The video also contains footage of lootings and protests against police (which Aldean condemns in the song). Those factors combined with the song’s lyrics led some to accuse Aldean of promoting violence and being “pro-lynching.”
After CMT yanked the video off the air, Aldean released the following statement.
“These references are not only meritless, but dangerous. There is not a single lyric in the song that references race or points to it- and there isn’t a single video clip that isn’t real news footage -and while I can try and respect others to have their own interpretation of a song with music- this one goes too far.”
Aldean’s fans threw their support behind him. Hours after he released his statement, “Try That In A Small Town” reached the #1 spot on the all-genre iTunes chart.
Then, a week later, the song reached #1 on another chart.
“Try That In a Small Town” Becomes A Number One Single
According to Billboard, Aldean’s “Try That In a Small Town” reached the #1 spot on its Hot Country Songs chart.
Additionally, “Try That In a Small Town” debuted at the #2 slot on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart on Monday (July 24). Billboard reports that the song debuted “with the biggest sales week for a country song in over 10 years.”
Streams of the song have increased significantly since CMT pulled its music video. The Hollywood Reporter cites data from Luminate that shows audio and video streams of “Try That In a Small Town” increased by 999 percent, from 987,000 to 11.7 million.
Luminate also shows that sales of the song increased from 1,000 units in the week before the controversy to 228,000 units after.
The Hollywood Reporter details how the music video for “Try That In a Small Town” had approximately 350,000 views on YouTube before the controversy started. As of this writing, it now has nearly 18 million views.
Watch the video below.