Jackson was officially inducted by Capitol Records Nashville President and CEO and long-time friend Mike Dungan. Afterwards he addressed the audience, “Denise and I packed up a U-haul and moved to Nashville and I didn't know a publisher from a producer. I was stupid enough not to be scared. I have written songs about the ups and downs of married life, songs for the working man, a song about when my daddy died, when my first child left home - I just write whatever I feel. I never wrote a song to get a Grammy or Country Music Award. All of these things are just life and that is what country music has always been to me.”
Taylor Swift and The Wrights paid tribute to Jackson’s songwriting during the event, held at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel. Swift performed “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning),” and The Wrights offered a medley of the hits “Good Time,” “Remember When,” “Chattahoochee,” “Don’t Rock The Jukebox” and “Here In The Real World.”
The Wrights, Jackson, Taylor Swift, Mike Dungan Photo By: Bev Moser
Jackson is one of today’s most prolific songwriters – his straightforward, honest and sincere lyrics reflect the essence of country music and speak to the common man. He has written/co-written 24 of his 35 #1 hit singles. This places him second only to Merle Haggard in country music history as artists who have written or co-written #1 songs they have also recorded. Jackson 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’s songs are distinguished by straightforward, honest and back-to-basics Country sincerity. Included in his 24 number-one songs for himself are “Remember When,” “Good Time,” “Drive (For Daddy Gene),” “Don’t Rock The Jukebox,” “Where I Come From” and the career highlights “Chattahoochee” and “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning).” “Chattahoochee” won a CMA Song of the Year award. “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” won Song of the Year honors from the CMA, the ACM and the Grammys. He was ASCAP’s Country Songwriter of the Year in 1993, 1994 and 1998; Jackson was ASCAP’s Country Songwriter/Artist of the Year in 2002, 2003, 2008 and 2009; and in 2010 he was honored with the prestigious ASCAP Founders Award. Jackson was NSAI’s Songwriter/Artist of the Year in 1991, 1992, 2002, 2007 and 2008. In addition, he has penned or co-written hits for other artists, notably the #1 songs “A Better Class Of Losers” (Randy Travis) and “If I Could Make A Living” (Clay Walker).
The Georgia native is a three-time CMA Entertainer of the Year and a member of the Grand Ole Opry – in fact, he’s one of the most-honored singer-songwriters of the last 20 years, with a total of two Grammys, 16 CMA Awards and 17 ACM Awards to his credit. Jackson’s songs span 13 studio albums, three hits collections, two holiday albums and a critically-acclaimed gospel album with combined global sales of nearly 60-million. He was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2001. One of country music’s most-prolific songwriters, Jackson’s latest hit is “Long Way to Go,” the first single from his forthcoming debut album on EMI Records Nashville and his own ACR (Alan’s Country Records) venture. Recent credits also include “You’d Be Lonesome, Too,” from the new Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams project, spearheaded by Bob Dylan. Jackson completed the song based on original unfinished lyrics by the legend.