Before playing a sold-out concert at the Macon Coliseum on Friday night, the city’s very own Jason Aldean was honored at ceremony in which a street sign bearing his name was unveiled outside the future Children’s Hospital.
Jason Aldean Way will run along 888 Pine St., outside the new Children’s Hospital set to open in 2019.
“It’s been 19 years since I moved to Tennessee,” the 40-year-old country music star said at the Medical Center, Navicent Health. “You want to go out and sort of make your hometown proud, you know? ... This is a huge honor.”
Last year, Aldean played a “Concert For The Kids” at the Grand Opera House, which raised a half million dollars for the new Children’s Hospital, which is currently under construction.
His second benefit concert is expected to raise even more money for the new facility.
“I think it’s going to be something special,” said Aldean, who has two children and a third on the way. “To me, there’s nothing more precious than the kids. As a parent, you just want to know there’s a place to take your kid if something ever were to happen ... It kind of puts your mind at ease.”
Aldean heard someone call him a “hometown hero” before the ceremony.
“I’m a singer,” he said. “The heroes are the people who are upstairs taking care of these kids. I get to sing songs for a living and it allows me to do things like this. ... I’m glad I’m in a position to help out.”
Aldean’s stomping grounds are off Hartley Bridge Road in Macon. He graduated from Windsor Academy in 1995 and said the Ocmulgee National Monument, where his mother used to work, is among his favorite places here.
“I think we all, where we were raised, kind of shapes us and molds us into people we are and the things that we relate to in life,” he said. “To me, music is no different. Songs that I relate to are because of how I was raised and where I grew up, which was here.”
Aldean said he’d stay in town for a couple of days after the concert to spend time with family. He also he’d love to come back and play an annual Macon show.
Though he’s a Middle Georgia native, Aldean had never been to The Big House, stomping grounds of the Allman Brother’s Band, until Friday. He held Duane Allman’s Gold Top guitar and toured the Vineville Avenue home with his bandmates.
“It’s really cool,” Aldean said. “It’s one of those things, especially, being a musician but not only that, being from here. Those guys were a huge influence on me growing up.”