Alan JacksonAlan Jackson

Alan Jackson (born October 17, 1958, in Newnan, Georgia, United States) is an American country musical singer-songwriter who was one of the most successful male country performers of the 1990s and early 21st century.

Jackson grew up in rural Georgia singing gospel and performing in a country duet as a teenager. After dropping out of school and marrying his high school love, Denise, Jackson did various jobs while performing in his band, Dixie Steel. Denise, a flight attendant, came across country superstar Glen Campbell at an airport in 1985, and Jackson’s demo tape secured him a songwriting deal with Campbell’s music publishing firm. The couple later relocated to Nashville.

In 1989, Alan Jackson signed as the first artist with Arista Records’ country branch, and they released his first album, “Here in the Real World,” the same year. Its hit title track, co-written by Jackson and Mark Irwin, established the singer as a songwriter of songs that speak directly about the virtues of rural and small-town life, the whims of love, and the value of country music traditions passed down from predecessors such as George Jones and Hank Williams. Alan Jackson had more popularity with honky-tonk-inspired albums such as Don’t Rock the Jukebox (1991), A Lot About Livin’ (And a Little ‘Bout Love) (1992), which produced the smash song “Chattahoochee”; and Who I Am (1994).

Alan Jackson, a conservative in his musical style, joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1991 and recognized his origins in 1999 with the album Under the Influence, which included his renditions of songs by Merle Haggard, Charley Pride, and Gene Watson. Jackson has also recorded with Jones, George Strait, Randy Travis, and Jimmy Buffett, among others.

In response to the tragedy of the September 11 attacks in 2001, Jackson composed a song that reflects the many reactions to the day’s events. “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” won CMA and ACM Song of the Year honors and a Grammy Award for Best Country Song. The song appeared on Jackson’s 10th studio album, Drive (2002), with “Drive (for Daddy Gene),” a dedication to his father.

Jackson released two albums in 2006, including songs written by others: Precious Memories, a compilation of 15 hymns, and the intimate Like Red on a Rose. Subsequent albums, including Good Time (2008), Thirty Miles West (2012), The Bluegrass Album (2013), and Angels and Alcohol (2015), cemented his continuing appeal. He collaborated with the Zac Brown Band on the song “As She’s Walking Away” (2010), which won a share of the Grammy for Best Country Collaboration with vocals in 2011. Jackson has received several industry honors, including the CMA Award for Entertainer of the Year in 1995, 2002, and 2003. He was also inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2017.

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