The 42-year-old singer is no stranger to accolades and major awards, but he is only the sixth artist ever to receive the coveted Dick Clark Artist of the Decade Award, which he graciously accepted at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. The award -- which went to Marty Robbins in 1969, Loretta Lynn in 1979, Alabama in 1988, Garth Brooks in 1998 and George Strait in 2008 -- was renamed the ACM Dick Clark Artist of the Decade Award after Clark's death in 2012, in recognition of his many years spent as the ACM Awards producer and celebrated host.
Moments before accepting the prestigious award, Aldean took the stage, delivering a powerful rendition of "Lights Come On," before Kelly Clarkson joined him onstage to sing their popular 2010 duet, "Don't You Wanna Stay." He continued the medley with "Dirt Road Anthem," as stars like Luke Bryan and Keith Urban sang along to the lyrics.
"I feel very fortunate to have this," Aldean shared during his acceptance speech. "My wife, I love you. My family, my mom and dad are here. More than anything, thank you country music fans, country music radio. You've changed my life."
The Georgia native has won well over a dozen ACM Awards throughout his career since releasing his debut single, "Hicktown," in 2005. By 2010, Aldean had secured his status as a superstar with the release of his smash album, My Kinda Party, which included hits such as "Don't You Wanna Stay," "Tattoos on This Town" and "Fly Over States," in addition to the record's title track. The successful artist has since racked up numerous No. 1 singles and headlined countless stadium tours.
"My heroes are on this list, something I can’t really even wrap my head around being part of," Aldean said earlier in a statement. "But, man I’m proud to be getting it -- it’s for everyone who stuck with us and supported us through the years."
Aldean, who welcomed his second child with wife Brittany Kerr just over two months ago, also performed during the ACM Awards ceremony. Aldean and Kerr are also parents to 1-year-old son Memphis, while the singer also shares two daughters, Keeley, 15, and Kendyl, 11, with his ex-wife, Jessica.
For more on the country music star, who kicks off his Ride All Night Tour on May 3, watch the video below.