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It’s Aldean’s party, and he calls the shots

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“Don’t You Wanna Stay” is the second single off country star Jason Aldean’s new album, “My Kinda Party.”

The first single was the title track, and “Don’t You Wanna Stay” hit No. 1 on the Billboard Country Singles Chart and on the iTunes Top 10 Country Singles.

But who decided that a particular cut should be the first song getting special treatment?

“I get to pick the singles,” Aldean said in a phone interview.

“For the most part I have to say my label has been really good in trusting my opinions and my instincts and allowing me to be an artist, which is something I think a lot of labels don’t do these days. It’s worked out very well.”

Aldean said that songwriter friend Jason Sellers pitched “Don’t You Wanna Stay” to him. It wasn’t written as a duet but when Sellers sang it for him, he knew he wanted to put it on his record.

“The more I listened to it driving in my car … the more I thought it was written perfectly for a duet. I really had never done a duet,” he said.

The next step had Aldean calling his record producer, Michael Knox, and asking him to turn the song into a duet. Knox asked Aldean who, if anyone, he had in mind.

“I said somebody like Kelly Clarkson, somebody out of the box. Not a country artist but somebody people would not be hearing on country radio,” he said.

At that point, Aldean’s managers got involved. His people sent her people a copy of the song. Clarkson’s response was that she’d love to do the song with Aldean.

“I met her for the first time in the studio recording the song. It was great,” he said.

Aldean is the headliner at a concert Saturday, April 9, at the Hard Rock Casino Albuquerque Presents the Pavilion.

He said that he works with Knox on choosing the songs for each album.

“He and I have been working together for about 12 years. We have a really good relationship. He has a really good grasp on what I like to record. He weeds through (possible songs), sends those to me and I pick things out of there that I love,” Aldean said.

Cutline – Country star Jason Aldean makes a stop Saturday in Albuquerque.

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