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Sheryl Crow responds to Jason Aldean’s song controversy: ‘Even people in small towns are sick of violence’

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By Marianne Garvey, CNN

(CNN) — Sheryl Crow has shared her thoughts on Jason Aldean’s controversial song, “Try That in a Small Town.”

Aldean’s single, which was released in May, stirred new controversy when the music video debuted on July 14. The lyrics and visual references in the video, critics say, are evocative of vigilantism and racism, which Aldean has disputed.

“Got a gun that my granddad gave me / They say one day they’re gonna round up / Well, that s— might fly in the city, good luck/Try that in a small town,” Aldean sings in the song.

Crow reacted in a tweet on Tuesday.

“@Jason_Aldean I’m from a small town. Even people in small towns are sick of violence,” she wrote.

Crow grew up from Kennett, Missouri, which has a current population of roughly 10,200. Aldean was born in Macon, Georgia, which has a population of about 156,000.

“There’s nothing small-town or American about promoting violence,” Crow added. “You should know that better than anyone having survived a mass shooting. This is not American or small town-like. It’s just lame.”

Aldean was performing at the Route 91 Music Harvest Festival in Las Vegas in 2017 when a gunman killed 58 people and injured hundreds more, the deadliest mass shooting in American history.

Crow is a longtime advocate for gun safety. In March, she performed at a vigil in Nashville following a school shooting in which three staff members and three students were killed. She is also among several artists who lobbied the Tennessee legislature for gun reform following the shooting.

Aldean, who now lives in Nashville, referenced both mass shootings in a tweet on Tuesday.

“As so many pointed out, I was present at Route 91-where so many lost their lives- and our community recently suffered another heartbreaking tragedy. NO ONE, including me, wants to continue to see senseless headlines or families ripped apart,” Aldean wrote.

“Try That in a Small Town,” produced by longtime Aldean collaborator Michael Knox, was written by Kurt Allison, Kelley Lovelace, Neil Thrasher and Tully Kennedy.

Aldean shared his interpretation of the song’s lyrics in his tweet.

“Try That In A Small Town, for me, refers to the feeling of a community that I had growing up, where we took care of our neighbors, regardless of differences of background or belief,” Aldean wrote. “Because they were our neighbors, and that was above any differences. My political views have never been something I’ve hidden from, and I know that a lot of us in this Country don’t agree on how we get back to a sense of normalcy where we go at least a day without a headline that keeps us up at night. But the desire for it to- that’s what this song is about.”

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