ALAN JACKSON

Originally printed in the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony program
October 22, 2017

Unlike most entertainers, Alan Jackson is a quiet, reserved man who can be uncomfortable with public attention and the media spotlight. However, watch him in concert, or listen to his recordings, and it becomes clear that Jackson loves country music. He admires country music’s heroes, and he relates to country music’s fans. He loves what country songs express. He loves the subtle emotions that the best country songwriters weave into lyrics. He loves getting on a concert stage, or settling into a recording booth, and turning his personal values and experiences into songs packed with wit, insight, and universal truths.

“I never really liked the whole star part of the music business,” Jackson said. “I like the singing and the writing and all that goes with that. That’s the part that drew me into it. I wanted to make good country music, and I never wanted to venture too far from that.”

During an era of tremendous musical change, Jackson built his reputation by being a steadfast standard-bearer for traditional country music. While others stoked debates about what does or does not constitute country music, Jackson provided the measuring stick. No one ever questioned the music Jackson created. His songs are, and always have been, the very definition of country music.

That dedication to the genre’s core values was apparent from the start of Jackson’s recording career, in 1989, when he became the first country artist signed to Arista Records. His expressive baritone revealed the influence of heroes George Jones and Hank Williams, and his songwriting presented a clever, heartfelt view of life, love, and family in the South. On early hits such as “Here in the Real World,” “Chasin’ that Neon Rainbow,” and his first #1, “I’d Love You All Over Again,” Jackson sounded like a throwback to an earlier era.

Nonetheless, within traditional country parameters, Jackson has explored a wide range of regional styles. His songs have drawn on bluegrass, Cajun, honky-tonk, gospel, love ballads, tear-in-your-beer heartbreakers, and western swing. He has proven masterful at finding fresh ways to update traditional styles while focusing on lyrics that tell his stories and extol his values and indulge his humor.

“I never wanted to venture too far from the kind of music I’ve always loved,” Jackson said. “Hank Williams or Merle Haggard, they liked to play a lot of different styles of music, but it was all country. I wanted to mix it up but stay true to country, too.”

The Newnan, Georgia, native was born on October 17, 1958. His father, Joseph Eugene “Daddy Gene” Jackson, worked as a mechanic at a Ford Motor Company assembly plant. His mother, Ruth “Mama Ruth” Musick Jackson, was a dietitian and school cafeteria manager. As Jackson paid tribute in his song “Home,” his father built the family’s residence around a one-room toolshed, expanding the home through the years to accommodate the births of Alan and his four older sisters.

Jackson didn’t own a guitar growing up, and no one in his family sang or played an instrument. When he turned twenty-one, he had yet to write a song or perform in a honky-tonk. Nor had he traveled north of the Georgia border. “Nashville,” he said, “seemed as far away as Japan to me.”

Jackson met his wife, Denise, at age seventeen; the couple married the following year. In 1980, after attending a country concert, Jackson began to talk to his wife about his interest in a career in music. Three years later, he started performing cover tunes with local country bands. He honed a distinctive style built on an expressive, believable baritone voice and songwriting that drew on his own experiences. Jackson turned those details into concise, catchy songs that were, by turns, colorful and deeply emotional.

Denise Jackson, while working as a flight attendant, met singer Glen Campbell in an airport and asked for advice for her husband. Campbell referred her to a Nashville music publishing company he owned; he also told her that the couple should move to Nashville.

In 1985, the couple followed Campbell’s suggestion and moved into a basement apartment in the Donelson neighborhood, near the Nashville airport. Jackson began working in the mailroom at The Nashville Network, a cable TV channel, and he picked up extra money singing demo recordings for songs written by other songwriters. He dedicated himself to writing his own material, which landed him a songwriting deal with Campbell’s publishing company, KayTeeKay Music.

Jackson began recording his own songs in 1988 with the help of producer Keith Stegall. Those demo recordings led Jackson to his contract with Arista and the release of his 1990 debut album, Here in the Real World—co-produced by Stegall and Scott Hendricks—which sold two million copies. Every album Jackson released for the next fifteen years, all produced by Stegall, sold a million or more copies.

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Jackson wrote and recorded “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning).” He introduced the song at the 2001 CMA Awards, and it grew into a #1 hit that received national attention.

In addition to writing a majority of the material for his own recordings, Jackson has contributed songs to other artists. Randy Travis, whom Jackson befriended before either was a star, recorded four Jackson tunes (three of which Travis co-wrote), including the hits “Forever Together” and “Better Class of Losers.” Jackson also wrote Clay Walker’s #1 hit “If I Could Make a Livin’,” and Faith Hill did well with Jackson’s “I Can’t Do That Anymore.”

Jackson has sold more than sixty million albums worldwide and ranks as one of the ten best-selling solo artists of all-time in any genre. As of 2017, he has registered fifty Top Ten hits and thirty-five #1s (including twenty-six Billboard #1s). He has received eighteen Academy of Country Music awards, sixteen Country Music Association awards, and a pair of Grammys. Jackson received the first-ever ASCAP Heritage Award in 2014, having earned the title of most-performed country music songwriter-artist of ASCAP’s first one hundred years. Jackson is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry.

1986

Signs as a songwriter with Glen Campbell’s publishing company

1989

Signs as Arista/Nashville’s first country artist

1990

Here In The Real World issued as debut album

  • ACM Top New Male Vocalist award
  • TNN/Music City News Song of the Year “Here In The Real World”
1991

Becomes member of Grand Ole Opry (inducted by Roy Acuff and Randy Travis)

  • Don’t Rock The Jukebox issued as second album
  • ACM Single & Album of the Year “Don’t Rock The Jukebox”
  • NSAI Songwriter/Artist of the Year
  • TNN/Music City News Star of Tomorrow
  • TNN/Music City News Album of the Year – Here In The Real World
1992

CMA Video of the Year – “Midnight In Montgomery”

  • ASCAP Country Song of the Year – “Don’t Rock The Jukebox”
  • TNN/Music City News Male Artist of the Year
  • TNN/Music City News Album & Single – “Don’t Rock The Jukebox”
  • A Lot About Livin’ (And A Little ‘Bout Love) issued as third album
1993

ACM Single of the Year – “Chattahoochee”

  • ACM Album of the Year – A Lot About Livin’ (And A Little ‘Bout Love)
  • CMA Single & Video of the Year – “Chattahoochee”
  • CMA Vocal Event of the Year – “I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair”
  • ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year
  • TNN/Music City News Entertainer & Male Artist of the Year
  • TNN/Music City News Video of the Year – “Midnight In Montgomery”
  • Honky Tonk Christmas issued as holiday album
1994

ACM Male Vocalist of the Year

  • CMA Song of the Year – “Chattahoochee”
  • CMA Album of the Year – Common Thread: Songs Of The Eagles
  • ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year
  • ASCAP Country Song of the Year – “Chattahoochee”
  • TNN/Music City News Entertainer & Male Artist of the Year
  • TNN/Music City News Single & Video of the Year – “Chattahoochee”
  • TNN/Music City News Album of the Year – Alot About Livin’ (And A Little ‘Bout Love)
  • Who I Am issued as fifth album
1995

CMA Entertainer of the Year

  • The Greatest Hits Collection issued as sixth album
  • ACM Male Vocalist of the Year
  • TNN/Music City News Entertainer & Male Artist of the Year
  • TNN/Music City News Single of the Year – “Livin’ On Love”
  • TNN/Music City News Album of the Year – Who I Am
  • TNN/Music City News Vocal Event – “A Good Year For The Roses”
1996

Everything I Love issued as seventh album

  • TNN/Music City News Entertainer & Male Artist of the Year
1997

Becomes national spokesman for Ford Trucks

  • TNN/Music City News Entertainer & Male Artist of the Year
1998

 

High

  • HereMileage issued as eighth album
  • ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year

 

1999

Under The Influence issued as ninth album

2000

CMA Vocal Event of the Year – "Murder on Music Row" with George Strait

  • When Somebody Loves You issued as tenth album
  • Nashville Music Awards Male Vocalist Of The Year
  • USA Today Top 10 Country Album – When Somebody Loves You
  • Chicago Tribune Top 10 Country Album – When Somebody Loves You
  • Country Music Magazine Top 10 Single of the Year – “Murder On Music Row” with George Strait “It Must Be Love”
  • Country Music Magazine Male Vocalist Of The Year
  • Country Weekly Magazine Top 10 Country Album – Under The Influence
2001

TNN/CMT/Country Weekly Awards Song of the Year–“Murder On Music Row ” with George Strait

  • TNN/CMT/Country Weekly Awards Single of the Year–“Murder On Music Row” with George Strait
  • TNN/CMT/Country Weekly Awards Collaborative Event of the Year–“Murder On Music Row” with George Strait
  • TNN/CMT/Country Weekly Awards Video of the Year – “www.memory”
  • TNN/CMT/Country Weekly Awards Album of the Year – “When Somebody Loves You”
  • TNN/CMT/Country Weekly Awards Male Artist of the Year
  • Billboard Magazine #1 Hot Country Songwriter
  • Billboard Magazine and Country Airplay Monitor #7 Most Played Artist Of The Year – All Formats
2002

Drive issued as eleventh album - debuted at #1 on SoundScan’s Top Current Albums Chart (4 weeks) and Top Current Country Albums Chart (5 weeks)

  • ACM Song of the Year – “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)”
  • ACM Single of the Year – “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)”
  • ACM Male Vocalist of the Year
  • Music Row Awards Song of The Year – “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)”
  • Let It Be Christmas issued as twelfth album and second Holiday album
  • CMA Entertainer of the Year
  • CMA Male Vocalist of the Year
  • CMA Song of the Year – “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)”
  • CMA Album of the Year – Drive
  • CMA Single of the Year – “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)”
  • CCMA (Christian Country Music Association) Song of the Year – “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)
  • CCMA Video of the Year – “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)”
  • ASCAP Golden Note Award ASCAP Country Songwriter/Artist of the Year
  • NSAI Songwriter’s Achievement Award – “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)”
  • NSAI Songwriter/Artist of the Year
2003

Grammy Award for Best Country Song of the Year – “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)”

  • R&R Reader's Poll (February 21, 2003) – Male Vocalist
  • ACM Album of the Year – Drive
  • ACM Video of the Year – “Drive (For Daddy Gene)”
  • Country Weekly Fan Favorite Entertainer
  • Country Weekly Fan Favorite Collaborative Song – “Designated Drinker” with George Strait
  • Country Weekly Fan Favorite Song – “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)”
  • Country Weekly Fan Favorite Album – Drive
  • Billboard Magazine Country Airplay Monitor (July 25, 2003) #1 Core Artist in Country Music
  • Greatest Hits Volume II And Some Other Stuff issued as thirteenth album
  • CMA Entertainer of the Year
  • CMA Male Vocalist of the Year
  • CMA Vocal Event of the Year – “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” – with Jimmy Buffett
  • ASCAP Country Songwriter/Artist of the Year

 

 

2004

ACM Single Record of the Year – “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” - with Jimmy Buffett

  • ACM Vocal Event of the Year – “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” – with Jimmy Buffett
  • What I Do issued as fourteenth album release

 

2005

Jackson became the first country artist ever to earn RIAA Gold certification for two Digital Singles (signifying 100,000 purchased downloads) with the success of "It's Five O’Clock Somewhere" and "Remember When."

  • In response to Hurricane Katrina, Jackson participated in multiple benefit concerts, including the televised Country Reaches Out: An Opry Benefit for the American Red Cross, and the mammoth, multi-genre ReAct Now: Music & Relief MTV concert event.
  • To further hurricane relief, Jackson teamed with the American Red Cross for a national PSA, in addition to becoming the face and voice of the regional "Thanks, Nashville" campaign.
2006

Precious Memories issued as fifteenth album release, first gospel album to debut at #1 on Soundscan's Top Country Album

  • Precious Memories – Live at the Ryman released on DVD
  • The release of Precious Memories was accompanied by a corresponding concert special which aired on GAC and was taped live at the Ryman Auditorium.
  • In June, the DVD, Precious Memories – Live at the Ryman, was released. Precious Memories was certified Gold and Platinum in August and became the only Platinum-certified country gospel disc by a solo artist in SoundScan history. Precious Memories became the only gospel recording in history to debut at #1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, and Jackson became the first country artist ever to debut an album of all -spiritual material at #1 on the Top Christian Albums and Top Christian & Gospel Albums charts, and the first artist ever to top all three charts at once.
  • In September, Like Red on a Rose became Jackson’s sixteenth album release and first produced by Alison Krauss.
2007

 

Like Red on a Rose certified Gold.

  • In April, Precious Memories was named Country Album of the Year at the 38th Annual GMA Dove Awards.
  • From May through October, Jackson embarked on a 30-date co-headlining tour with Brooks & Dunn.
    "A Woman's Love," from Like Red on a Rose, became Jackson's 45th Top 5 single.
    Jackson shared honors as the Nashville Songwriters Association International's 2007 Songwriter/Artist of the Year.
  • Jackson recorded the songs "It's All About Him" and "That's the Way" exclusively for wife Denise's best-selling memoir, It's All About Him.
  • The most-nominated artist in CMA history, Jackson earned his 75th career CMA Award nomination for Hey, Good Lookin'," a Vocal Event collaboration with George Strait and Jimmy Buffett. The song was from the Jackson/Strait/Buffett concert album, Live at Texas Stadium, released earlier in the year.
  • In November, Precious Memories was named Inspirational Country Album of the Year at the 13th Annual Inspirational Country Music Award Show.
2008

Released March 4, Good Time became Jackson's 17th album, containing 17 songs, and marking the first time in his career Jackson had been the sole writer on his entire album. Good Time became the fourth release of Alan's career to simultaneously debut at #1 on Billboard's pop and country album sales charts.

  • The album's first single, "Small Town Southern Man," logged multiple weeks atop the country airplay charts and became Jackson's 32nd #1 single.
  • In August, Jackson was honored at a celebration commemorating 50 million albums sold.
    "Good Time" became the second single - and second #1 - from the Good Time album.
    Earning four nominations for the 42nd Annual CMA Awards, Jackson extended his lead as the all-time most nominated artist in CMA history, with 79 career nominations.
  • In October, he was named ASCAP Songwriter/Artist of the Year, recognizing the success of "A Woman's Love" and "Small Town Southern Man."
  • Jackson was celebrated by a host of country's finest artists as his music and career became the focus of an edition of CMT Giants.
2009

Jackson topped the charts with “Country Boy,” the third #1 single in a row from his smash Good Time album.In June, Jackson celebrated his 20-year career anniversary with a free concert for fans in downtown Nashville.

  • In June, Jackson embarked on his first-ever Scandinavian tour, performing in Norway, Sweden & Denmark.
  • In July, CMT premieres the Jackson concert special, Aquapalooza on Lake Martin.
2010

In January, Jackson gives fans a glimpse into his next albumFreight Train with the release of “It’s Just That Way,” the first single from the March 30 album.

  • In February, Mattie Jackson, Jackson’s eldest daughter, writes the treatment for “It’s Just That Way” video, directed by Roman White.
  • Good Time is Certified Platinum by the RIAA and becomes Jackson’s 15th career platinum award.
  • On April 16, Jackson was immortalized in entertainment history when he was presented with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • Alan recorded “As She’s Walking Away” with the Zac Brown Band – the song went on to top the country charts in November, and Alan and the group performed it on the CMA Awards.
  • On November 23, 34 Number Ones – a collection containing all of Alan’s chart-topping hits, as well as “As She’s Walking Away” and two more songs – was released.
2011

Alan wins a Grammy Award for “As She’s Walking Away” with the Zac Brown Band.

  • In March, Alan embarks on his first-ever tour of Australia, which sold out in just hours when tickets were placed on sale a few months earlier.
  • Alan opens a new career chapter by entering into a joint venture to record and release new music with Capitol/EMI Records Nashville.
  • Alan wins his 17th ACM Award – Vocal Event of the Year with the Zac Brown Band for “As She’s Walking Away.”
  • Alan releases “Long Way to Go,” the first single from a new album due in the fall of 2012!
  • Alan earns his 80th CMA Award nomination (with the Zac Brown Band for “As She’s Walking Away”).
  • Alan performs “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” in front of a crowd that includes President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and their wives at a 10th anniversary remembrance event in at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
  • Alan is inducted to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
  • Alan receives a star on Nashville’s Music City Walk of Fame.
2012

Receives ACM’s Jim Reeves International Award, presented to an individual for outstanding contributions to the acceptance of country music throughout the world

  • Thirty Miles West issued as twentieth album release, debuting #1 on Billboard’s Top Country Album Sales chart
  • Performs “Better Class Of Losers/She’s Got The Rhythm (And I Got The Blues) medley with Randy Travis for Anniversary Celebration album
  • Breaks all-time attendance record for San Antonio Rodeo, drawing nearly 17,000 fans, most it its 62 year history
  • Draws 6,000 fans for Music for Mineral, a benefit concert raising over $150,000 for the city of Mineral, VA, small town at the epicenter of a rare east coast earthquake.
  • Honored with corn maze in form of his likeness at Gull Meadow Farms in Richland, MI, allowing fans to walk through the his mustache
  • Surprises fans at the Zac Brown Band’s Southern Ground Music and Food Festival joining the band for “As She’s Walking Away” and “Dixie Highway”
  • ACM – Jim Reeves International Award
2013

The Bluegrass Album issued as 22nd album release, enlists the bluegrass industry top musicians, Scott Coney (acoustic guitar), Sammy Shelor (banjo), Adam Steffey (mandolin), Tim Crouch (fiddle), Tim Dishman (bass), Rob Ickes (dobro) and Ronnie Bowman and Don Rigsby (vocals)

  • Precious Memories Volume II issued as twenty-first album release
  • Records “Have You Ever Seen The Rain” with John Fogerty for his duets album Wrote A Song For Everyone
  • Headlines fifth annual Stars Go Blue concert benefitting the Colon Cancer Alliance at historic Ryman Auditorium.
  • Daughter, Ali Jackson stars in video for “Blue Ridge Mountain Song”, with a sweet young love storyline filmed east of Nashville and in the hills of North Carolina.
  • Embarks on his second Australia tour
  • Brings Bluegrass to NYC, performing at the world renowned Carnegie Hall
2014

Awarded ASCAP’s prestigious Heritage Award, being most performed country music songwriter-artist of ASCAP’s first 100 years

  • Celebrates 35th wedding anniversary with Denise
  • Let It Be Christmas re-released in digital format, for the first time
  • Records the theme song for Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways To Die In The West movie
  • Announces 25th Anniversary celebration including a 25-city tour in 2015 and Country Music Hall of Fame exhibit
  • Performs impromptu late night free show during CMA Music Fest in Nashville’s famed honky-tonk, The Stage to celebrate 25th anniversary kick-off
  • Joins George Strait for his final concert at AT&T Stadium, attracting over 104,000 fans
  • Becomes the first simultaneous artist-in-residence and major museum exhibit subject at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
  • Performs “Let It Be Christmas” and “Winter Wonderland” on third annual CMA Country Christmas
  • Billboard Music Awards Top Christian Album – Precious Memories Vol. 2
  • CMT Music Awards – Impact Award
  • ICM Awards - Mainstream Country Male Artist
2015

Angels and Alcohol issued as twenty-third release, spending two weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Top Country Album Sales chart

  • Sony Legacy releases first ever box set, Genuine: The Alan Jackson Story, a compilation celebrating Alan's years on Arista Nashville.
  • Embarks on a 25-city 25th Anniversary Keepin' It Country Tour sponsored by Kubota Tractor Corp. with special guests Jon Pardi and Brandy Clark
  • Performs "Where Were You When the World Stop Turning" at the 50th Anniversary of the ACMs in Dallas, TX at AT&T Stadium
  • Performs "Chattahoochee" with Cole Swindell for ACM Presents: Superstars Duet Show at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, TX
  • Performs on the ACM Superstar Duets show in Dallas with Cole Swindell, singing Chattahoochee
  • By popular demand the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum extends Alan's 25 Years of Keepin' It Country exhibit thru June
  • Wins two fan voted 2015 Golden Boot Awards for Live Act of the Year and Living Legend of the Year
  • Kicks off CMA Music Fest with his 20th appearance at the festival
  • Celebrates the debut of Angels and Alcohol on the Today Show Summer Concert Series and Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon
  • Featured on CBS Sunday Morning with Alan Jackson: Country Storyteller segment
  • Becomes Ambassador for Ply Gem's "Home For Good Project" to build more than 300 homes across the U.S. in 2016 for Habitat for Humanity
2016
  • Extends hugely successful Keepin' Country Tour with special guest American Idol Alum, Lauren Alaina
  • 800-seat Alan Jackson Theatre opens at the Louis County High School in Mineral, VA
  • AXS TV airs portion of Denver, CO show for LIVE From Red Rocks concert series
  • Eagle Rock Entertainment commemorates the 25th Anniversary tour with first ever live DVD, Keepin' It Country – Live at Red Rocks
  • CMC (Country Music Channel – Australia) - ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) highest selling international album - Angels And Alcohol

 

Awards

  • 18 ACM Awards
  • 16 CMA Awards
  • 2 Grammy Awards
  • 7 ASCAP Songwriter/Artist of the Year Awards
  • 2 ASCAP Song of the Year Awards
  • 46 ASCAP Country Song Awards
  • 1 ASCAP Golden Note Award
  • 1 ASCAP Founders Award
  • 2 American Music Awards
  • 2 Billboard Awards
  • 6 Music City News Songwriters Awards
  • 1 Nashville Music Award
  • 4 NSAI Awards
  • NSAI Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction
  • 5 R&R Readers’ Poll Awards
  • 2 SRO Awards
  • 29 TNN/CMT/Country Weekly Awards
  • 1 ACA Hitmaker Award
  • 1 Blockbuster Entertainment Award
  • 2 CCMA (Christian Country Music Association) Awards
  • 1 ICM (Inspirational Country Music) Award
  • 1 CMT Flameworthy Music Video Award
  • 4 Country Weekly Fan Favorite Awards
  • 1 Gospel Music Association Dove Award
  • 1 CMC (Country Music Channel Australia) Award
 

#1's: (35)

Top 5's: (14)

  • More than 60 Career Singles
  • #1's written or co-written by Alan (2 of which were recorded by other artists): 26
  • Total Sales: nearly 60 million (including international)
  • One of the most-nominated artists in CMA Awards history

     

ABOUT ALAN JACKSON:
The man from rural Newnan, GA, who claims he is just a “singer of simple songs,” has sold nearly 60-million albums worldwide and ranks as one of the 10 best-selling male vocalists of all-time in all genres. He has released more than 60 singles – registering 50 Top Ten hits and 35 #1s (including 26 Billboard chart-toppers). He has earned more than 150 music industry awards – including 18 Academy of Country Music Awards, 16 Country Music Association Awards, a pair of Grammys and ASCAP’s Founders and Golden Note Awards. Jackson received the first-ever ASCAP Heritage Award in 2014 having earned the title of most-performed country music songwriter-artist of ASCAP’s first 100 years. He is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry.

Alan Jackson is one of the most successful and respected singer-songwriters in music. He is in the elite company of Paul McCartney and John Lennon among songwriters who’ve written more than 20 songs that they’ve recorded and taken to the top of the charts. Jackson is one of the best-selling artists since the inception of SoundScan, ranking alongside the likes of Eminem and Metallica.

Alan Jackson Jukebox