But aside from that, another thing they have in common is that both have faced accusations of racism in the past, and still get accused of being racist any time their names are mentioned in certain circles on social media.
For Wallen, the accusations largely stem from his 2021 incident when he was caught on camera using a racial slur with his friends. Wallen was briefly suspended by his label and banned from country music awards shows, but he emerged from the controversy to become bigger than he’s ever been before, by far one of (if not THE) biggest names in country music.
And Aldean was hit with accusations of racism last summer over his single “Try That In A Small Town,” as well as the accompanying music video, which was filmed at the Maury County Courthouse in his hometown of Columbia, Tennessee, the site of a 1927 lynching.
But during a recent appearance with Bill Maher on the Club Random with Bill Maher podcast, their fellow country artist Trace Adkins came to the defense of Aldean and Wallen, denying that either of the stars are racist and arguing that the attempts to “cancel” them have only made them bigger stars.
Maher admits that he had never heard much about Aldean before the controversy, but that the entire controversy was a “smear job.”
“The people who just want to get you are the ones who piss me off. And I felt like there was no smoking gun…
There’s just different kinds of Americans. You can’t bully the people who grew up in Tennessee or Louisiana into being you. It sounds like Jason Aldean, he’s a country guy. This is the kind of sh*t he’s into, and the kind of stuff he thinks…You can’t bully people into not being who they are. And they are no worse than you.”
And Adkins called the controversy “silly,” arguing that it’s actually helping Jason Aldean:
“It’s all so silly anyway. The grievance junkies turn on somebody and they try to cancel them, and all it’s gonna do, he’s gonna sell more records than he ever has and it’s gonna make him bigger than he’s ever been.
He had no idea, man. You know how many music videos I’ve done that I’ve called up the director and went, ‘Hey man, now what about this location where we’re shooting this thing?’ And if I did do that it would only be because I didn’t know where I was going.”
“It’s not the way to fight racism, by just making sh*t up to point your finger at somebody.”
And he also brought up Morgan Wallen for his own controversy:
“Maybe I’m naive but I just don’t think these people are racist.”
It was a sentiment that Trace agreed with based on his own experience:
“I’ve been around both of those guys. They’re good guys. They’re not racist.”
And he also joked that after seeing what’s happened to Wallen’s career, he’d be happy to be canceled:
“He sold out two nights in a row, 55,000+ tickets each night. God, cancel ME.”
You can check out the full conversation on Bill Maher’s podcast here, with the conversation about Aldean and Wallen starting around the 42 minute mark.