Jason Aldean might be one of the biggest names in country music today, but it hasn't always been smooth sailing for the "Hicktown" singer. The now-superstar was signed, and then released from two different record companies before finding a home at Broken Bow Records.

Aldean learned to play guitar from his dad, with whom he spent his summers in Florida; during the school year, he was raised by his mother in Georgia. Aldean started songwriting after a few years of playing clubs around the Southeast, before he headed to Nashville in 1998 and signed with Warner-Chappell Music.

After being dropped from two different recording companies as an artist, Aldean decided he'd give it six more months before he tucked tail and headed back home. Shortly thereafter, he landed a contract with BBR, and the rest is history: Aldean released his self-titled debut album in 2005, and things took off from there.

Click through the photo gallery below for a look at Aldean through the years. From his first big hit to a repeat Entertainer of the Year winner, it's been a steady climb of success, both personally and professionally, with a few moments of tragedy scattered amongst the triumphs.

How Well Do You REALLY Know Jason Aldean?