Jason Aldean was just another country singer looking for a break when he released his debut album on July 26, 2005, but the runaway success of the record changed that practically overnight.

The Georgia native was already a veteran of more than one record deal that didn't pan out, and as he recalled at the opening of his exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in 2017, he was on the verge of moving back to Georgia when a start-up indie label named Broken Bow Records offered him a deal.

Born Jason Aldine Williams, the singer changed his name to Jason Aldean because of a well-known Nashville session player named Jason Williams and titled his debut album Jason Aldean.

Broken Bow Records

The lead single from the album, "Hicktown," was already well on its way to being a Top 10 hit by the time Aldean released the project. Written by Big & Rich along with Vicky McGehee, the song gave Aldean a firm foothold at country radio, and the second single from his debut album, a ballad titled "Why," gave Aldean his first No. 1 hit. The third single from Jason Aldean, "Amarillo Sky," reached No. 4, and the album itself peaked at No. 6 on Billboard's Top Country Albums, selling more than a million copies and establishing Aldean as one of the brightest new stars in country music.

Aldean and Broken Bow have turned that initial success into one of the biggest careers in contemporary country music, and to this day Aldean continues to work with the same core group of people who were loyal to him in the lean times, including the label, his band members and his producer, Michael Knox.

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