Jason Aldean is making a sad face as he recalls how his daughter Keeley, 8, used to react during her bike lessons with him. "My neighbors would come out and want to talk about my record for an hour while my kid's sitting there, waiting," he says. "I didn't like living like that."
So Aldean, 34, moved his brood (Keeley, Kendyl, 4, and his wife, high school sweetheart Jessica, 32) to a 20-acre spread south of Nashville. "My life off the road is low-key," says the singer, who tops 2011 country album sales with My Kinda Party
, and coleads nominations for the CMA Awards (Nov. 9 on ABC), including two with Kelly Clarkson
for "Don't You Wanna Stay." He also dropped his tour dates from 200 to 75 this year for more time to coach Keeley's softball team, hit the mall with Jessica and grill burgers while his girls play by the pool. "He does everything for the right reasons," says Clarkson. "He's a family dude."
- Reporting by Kay West in Nashville.