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Aaron Tippin performs to packed crowd at APlex in Alpena

News Photo by Temi Fadayomi Country singer Aaron Tippin performs his hit song “You’ve Got to Stand for Something” in front of a cheering Alpenia crowd at the APlex on Friday.

ALPENA — Country singer Aaron Tippin kicked off the month of March in Alpena with a twang as he held a concert in Alpena on Friday.

The concert was held in a nearly packed room at the APlex, filled with people eager to see Tippin perform.

According to Tippin, even when he was just starting out, Michigan has always been a place where his music was popular. Tippin believes that his music resonates with the people of Alpena in the same way.

“The first year I ever got into country music, Michigan bought more dates on me than any other state did,” Tippin told The News before his show on Friday. “It’s people that are like-minded like me, and I think Alpena is the same way.”

Tippin attributes this popularity to a shared belief in working-class values, something that he was able to observe just by driving through Alpena County.

“This is country country,” said Tippin. “I see people, they get boats in their yards, they got lumber in their yards, or logs. They’re working-class Americans, and that’s what my music’s about.”

Tippin said his songs are about those working-class people and their values and at the core of his music is a message of hard work and self-reliance, which is a reflection of the values with which he was raised.

“Working man’s Ph.D., got it honest,” Tippin said. “These are all songs about people. To the core of their lives and what it is about is how they’re raised and how they function and work every day. I think their lifestyle really lends itself to the music that I do, because that’s how I was raised, that’s how I grew up. What the songs are really all about is self-reliance.”

Tippin has spent 34 years in the country music scene, and he said that, over those years, he has seen the genre undergo several evolutions.

Tippin says he’s happy to see all the new directions that country music has gone and is happy at the opportunity that it provides for other singers in the genre.

“Everything has an evolution,” said Tippin. “I watched it through my days, when it went from pop in the 70s to very traditionals in the 80s, and then in the 90s, it was just the explosion of country music. I’ve seen it go full-circle and I’m proud to say I’ve got to see it go through all those stages. Right now, what they’re doing, I don’t know if that’s necessarily how I would write songs and perform them. But, nevertheless, they’re having their day and they’re doing what they do. Let them shine.”

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