The attempt to “cancel” country music star Jason Aldean over the recently-released video for his song “Try That In a Small Town” appears to actually be giving him a profitable boost.
Billboard Charts reported in a tweet overnight that the song, which was released months ago, “has reached #1 on US iTunes.”
The single hit the top spot after Country Music Television (CMT) announced it removed the recently-released video for the song from its rotation. The network did not explain its reasoning behind the decision, but it came following accusations on social media that song was racist due to its messaging and where the video was set.
“Jason Aldean shot this at the site where a white lynch mob strung Henry Choate up at the Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, Tenn., after dragging his body through the streets with a car in 1927,” Mississippi Free Press editor Ashton Pittman tweeted Monday. “That’s where Aldean chose to sing about murdering people who don’t respect police.”
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Aldean adamantly pushed back against those claims in messages posted to Instagram and Twitter.
“There is not a single lyric in the song that references race or points to it- and there isn’t a single video clip that isn’t real news footage -and while I can try and respect others to have their own interpretation of a song with music – this one goes too far,” the musician wrote.
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The video for “Try That In A Small Town” includes several clips showing protestors clashing with police in large U.S. cities.
The official music video for the song is still available on YouTube, where it has racked up 1.4 million views since its release five days ago.
Entertainment data firm Luminate, which is where Billboard obtains its sales numbers, told FOX Business its database updates weekly and the company will not be able to confirm any numbers until it has vetted and verified complete sales and streaming data from all platforms, including Apple’s iTunes.
Luminate said that as of July 13, the day before the “Try That In A Small Town” video dropped, Aldean lifetime combined physical and digital album sales were at 12.3 million, track sales were at 23.9 million, and on-demand streams including audio and video were at 11.6 billion.
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