Aaron Tippin would have been spending his 30th anniversary in the entertainment industry doing what any “workin’ man” would do – entertaining his fans across the country with hit-filled stage performances. However, the Covid-19 crisis has forced him to reschedule his 2020 shows.

“The fans have been so great to me over the years, and they’re still coming out to the shows,” he told CFR News in a 2015 interview. “That’s why I still sign autographs every night. I just want to get out there and shake their hand and give them a big hug just to say thank you.”

Tippin’s first hit, the song that endeared him to fans by encapsulating the powerful message about integrity and character into a single line, “You’ve Got To Stand For Something or You’ll Fall for Anything,” also caught the attention of Bob Hope. The comedian invited Tippin to join his USO tour in 1990 to entertain the troops who were serving in the Gulf War.

“Performing overseas with Bob Hope is the single most memorable moment in my 25 years,” Tippin reflected. “I will never forget it. It started my career and everyone became familiar with my song ‘You’ve Got to Stand for Something.’ It also began my desire to give back to our military.”

Tippin said the experience began his own tradition of playing for the troops each year.

“Going overseas and performing for the greatest warriors on the planet is the least I can do for the sacrifices they make to keep us free,” he said.

During the aftermath of 9/11, Tippin, released “Where the Stars and Stripes and Eagle Fly,” a song that he realizes has “become part of the American soundtrack.”

“I wanted to talk to Americans about who we are at heart, and the fact that when the going gets tough, that’s when we really stand up,” he said. “We may have a lot of differences when everything is calm and fine, but when it hits the fan, I think we’re the best in the world at sticking together, and rallying around the cause. That song served that purpose very well. I wanted us to be proud as Americans and get back on with living free.”
Some of Tippin’s biggest hits resonated with a blue-collar, country audience. “There Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong with the Radio,” “My Blue Angel,” “Kiss This” and “Workin’ Man’s PhD” are among those born from his own experience.

“I think several times during my record career, we tried to change and follow trends and stuff,” he said. “But, it never seemed to work for me. The most success I had in the business was with songs that I crafted. I’m very proud of that. I think it makes a fan able to identify with me easier because these songs are about me – my life, who I am and how I was raised.”

That’s not to say Tippin hasn’t captivated listeners with heartfelt love songs.  Tracks like “Everything I Own,” “For You I Will” and the 1995 hit “That’s As Close as I’ll Get to Loving You” demonstrate his broad vocal abilities not to mention the romantic side of him that has created a loving home with his wife, Thea, for 25 years.

“She’s got as much stake in this game as I do,” he said. “She saw me at my lowest days, stood right there and stayed – even when things weren’t great, and I wasn’t having hit records. She listened to me whine through it all. I owe her everything.”

Tippin has said that his family, which includes his grown daughter, Charla, his granddaughter and grown sons Ted and Tom, is the center of his universe. The Tippins own a 500-acre farm in Middle Tennessee, complete with a runway (Tippin is a licensed pilot), recording studio and winery. He, Thea and the boys hunt, travel and perform together, and as anyone who follows the Tippins on social media quickly observes, they have great fun together.

Stonehaus Winery in Crossville, Tenn., partnered with Tippin to produce a new wine in 2015 celebrating 25 years in business for both Stonehaus and Tippin. Aaron Tippin Country Jam, a barrel-selected blackberry wine, was introduced on Valentine’s Day 2015 and others have been added since, including “Kiss This” cherry.

Tippin released a 25-song disc that includes a variety of musical genres he’s not recorded before – like gospel and big band – along with some of his best-known hits.

“We just wanted to make sure it was everything I wanted it to be,” Tippin said, adding in jest, “I don’t know if I will make 50 years or not!”

This copyrighted story by Claudia Johnson was originally published between 2012 and 2023 in Country Reunion Magazine and Country Reunion News.