Jason Aldean put jaws on the floor by revealing the scary dilemma he faced to pay tribute to Toby Keith

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Toby Keith was one of the greatest country music artists of his generation.

Paying tribute to an icon is harder than it appears. 

And Jason Aldean put jaws on the floor by revealing the scary dilemma he faced to pay tribute to Toby Keith.

Jason Aldean was nervous about his ACM tribute choice to Toby Keith

Country music legend Toby Keith passed away in February after a long battle with stomach cancer at the age of 62.

Tributes from fans and his fellow artists have been pouring in ever since.

Country music’s biggest stars came together to turn this year’s Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards into a celebration of Keith’s life.

One of the tributes paid to the Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue singer was by country music artist Jason Aldean.

Aldean took what he thought was a risk with his musical tribute to Keith.

He played an acoustic version of Should’ve Been A Cowboy, the first single off his 1993 debut album Toby Keith

Playing a stripped-down version of one of Keith’s biggest hits as a tribute to him on one of country music’s biggest nights was something that weighed on Aldean. 

Aldean talked about that performance during an interview with The Bobby Bones Show.

“You did the Toby Keith tribute. I was going to ask… I don’t know where you need to be mentally to have a good performance there because obviously it was sad,” Bones said. “A lot of us knew Toby in different ways, and you had a relationship with Toby.”

“Do you want to actually be feeling it?” Bones asked. “Or (do you) want to not feel it so you can pull off a performance?”

“Yeah, I think it was a little bit more of (pulling off a great performance).,” Aldean replied. “I felt like Toby deserved a great tribute for the career he had. I knew it was going to be a big night for his family and people that were going to be there. To be honest, I just didn’t want to mess it up. I wanted to go out and give him a send off that he deserved.”

Aldean didn’t know how people would react to his acoustic version.

“Especially with us kind of changing the song up, you just don’t know how people are going to take that,” Aldean said. “You know what I mean? If they’re going to like it, not like it, or whatever. So for us, it was trying to do something cool and different and something to honor him and his family.”

Toby Keith’s family reacts to Jason Aldean’s tribute

Aldean knocked it out of the park with his touching acoustic tribute to Keith at the ACMs.

“His wife texted me that night after the show which was really the icing on the cake for me. If (she) approved, I’m cool,” Aldean said.

Keith’s wife and three children were moved to tears that night by Aldean’s performance.

Jason Alden’s acoustic tribute to Toby Keith became one of the standout moments of this year’s ACMs.