Jason Aldean’s new exhibit, Asphalt Cowboy, opens Friday (May 26) at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The country star previewed the exhibit -- which includes his childhood rocking horse and his first guitar; a T-shirt from his high school band, Young Guns, and clothes worn onstage; and various awards -- with his wife Brittany; his daughters, Keeley and Kendyl; and his parents on Thursday night (May 25).

"To be enshrined in this building in any capacity, for any artist, is amazing,” Aldean shared at a reception at the Hall of Fame in his honor. “My kids, they don’t know anything other than this. But to go back and be able to see that it wasn’t always like this, I think is probably kind of cool for them. So it’s just been an amazing ride for me.”

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum CEO Kyle Young recalled in his remarks Aldean’s numerous failed record deals before he signed with his current label, Broken Bow Records, in 2005. Young credited Aldean’s tenacity with making him one of the biggest stars in country music.

“His strong voice was a draw; his strong work ethic sealed the deal,” Young boasted. “From there, things got real good: The 12-foot trailer became 12 semi-trucks; honky-tonks became amphitheaters, which became football and baseball stadiums ... Before fame and wealth, Jason’s idea of a good time was going hunting or staying home and watching football; now, Jason’s idea of a good time is going hunting or staying home and watching football.”

Aldean himself also gave credit to the people in his life who believed in him even when he didn’t: "For things early in my career to be a struggle and to not come easy, it made me appreciate things a lot more when it finally did happen, and the reason it happened is, I tried to surround myself with a great group of people,” Aldean said.

“I just tried to surround myself with people who were a good support system, and I think that makes all the difference in the world,” Aldean added, specifically mentioning his producer, Michael Knox, and his band. “You don’t get to do all the things I’ve done over the years by being a one-man show. There’s a ton of people that have helped me get here along the way, so for all of you guys, thank you very much."

Aldean's Asphalt Cowboy exhibit will remain open at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum until Nov. 5.

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