Country Music Icon Given All-Star Tribute,
Earns Standing Ovation with Surprise Performance
Award Comes as Jackson Celebrates 20 New RIAA Certifications
Superstar Alan Jackson’s music and career were celebrated at Wednesday’s 56th Annual CMA Awards when the iconic entertainer was given an all-star tribute – and a standing ovation – as he was honored with the Country Music Association’s highest honor, the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Country music’s been real good to me. I fell in love with it when I was a young man,” Jackson said in accepting the award. “I wanted to come to Nashville and try to carry it on.”
Jackson received an immediate ovation when he surprised the Bridgestone Arena – and a national TV audience – with a performance of his platinum-selling hit, “Don’t Rock the Jukebox.” His appearance capped an all-star tribute that began moments earlier as Carrie Underwood took the stage to sing Jackson’s “Remember When,” followed by Dierks Bentley’s take on “Chattahoochee.” Jon Pardi served up “Drive (For Daddy Gene),” while Lainey Wilson turned to the early days of his career with “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow” … before Jackson emerged to a roar of applause with his band The Strayhorns (watch HERE).
“I came to Nashville with nothing,” Jackson noted, joking he arrived in Music City with “three chords and a prayer.” “As my mama would say, ‘I’m so blessed.’” He went on to thank “all the parts of country music that have been so good to me” … giving special recognition to “the wonderful fans I’ve had all over the world” and his wife, Denise. “She’s hung in there and rode this roller coaster ride with me,” he said. “We’ve survived a lot…and she’s my best friend.”
“I’ve definitely lived the American Dream,” Jackson concluded, raising his award aloft as he proclaimed, “And I’m still livin’ that honky tonk dream, y’all!”
Jackson’s receipt of the CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award places him among the genre’s true greats. Given to an iconic artist who has attained the highest degree of recognition in country music, the award was established to recognize artists who have positively impacted and contributed to the growth of the genre and proven to have an unprecedented historical impact on fans and industry alike…which is evident in the list of previous recipients – Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, Charley Pride and Loretta Lynn.
Once-in-a-lifetime moments at the CMA Awards are nothing new for Jackson. Five years ago, he closed the show with a rousing “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow” in celebration of his induction to the Country Music Hall of Fame weeks earlier. In 1999, he turned his own performance of “Pop a Top” into a tribute to his friend and mentor George Jones, segueing into the legend’s nominated “Choices,” which wasn’t being performed during the event. And, of course, one of his career-defining moments occurred at the 2001 ceremony when the entire world heard “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” for the first time ever. He’s also one of the CMA’s most-honored artists, having previously won 16 awards…he’s one of only five artists to have been named CMA Entertainer of the Year three or more times…and he remains the second most-nominated artist in the 56-year history of the ceremony.
Jackson has still more reason to celebrate a day after being honored at the CMA Awards, as 20 of his hit singles and albums receive new gold, platinum and multi-platinum certification from the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). Leading the way, is his multi-platinum Greatest Hits, Volume II album, now certified 7-times platinum. His holiday favorites Honky Tonk Christmas (2x platinum) and Let It Be Christmas (platinum) have also reached new certification heights.
Jackson’s singles continue to be enjoyed by listeners in the digital age, as evidenced by the 17 titles earning new certification status. Six songs (“Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow,” “Midnight in Montgomery,” “Sissy’s Song,” “Summertime Blues,” “Where I Come From” and “Where Were You [When the World Stopped Turning]”) have been newly certified gold…while another seven (“Country Boy,” “Don’t Rock the Jukebox,” “Drive [For Daddy Gene],” “Gone Country,” “Little Bitty,” “Livin’ on Love” and “Small Town Southern Man”) have earned simultaneous gold and platinum digital single status. Additionally, “Good Time” has become a platinum digital single…“Chattahoochee” and “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” have been simultaneously certified platinum and multi-platinum (3x each) …and “Remember When” has achieved incredible 4x-platinum stature.
All this caps another unprecedented year in the icon’s life and career. Jackson’s Last Call: One More for the Road Tour was one of his fastest-selling ever and found the superstar playing to capacity and sellout crowds from coast-to-coast. He celebrated the launch of Silverbelly, a new premium bourbon whiskey distilled exclusively for – and hand-selected by – the country superstar, which is available in several states and continues its nationwide rollout this fall…while AJ’s Good Time Bar, his four-story honky-tonk in the heart of downtown Nashville featuring daily live music and a rooftop view of Music City remains a top draw for tourists and locals alike. And – in a career first – he shared a spot on the initial Grammy ballot with his daughter, Mattie Jackson Selecman, as a song they co-wrote (“Racing the Dark,” recorded by Jackson and released alongside Selecman’s book Lemons on Friday) made the first-round cut in the Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance categories.
About Alan Jackson: A member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and an inductee to the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Alan Jackson’s membership among music’s all-time greats is part of a long line of career-defining accolades that include three CMA Entertainer of the Year honors, over 30 years of membership in the Grand Ole Opry, a Billboard ranking as one of the Top 10 Country Artists of All-Time, induction to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Heritage Award as the most-performed country songwriter-artist of ASCAP’s first 100 years.
The man from rural Newnan, GA has sold nearly 60-million albums worldwide, ranks as one of the 10 best-selling male vocalists of all-time (rock, pop and country). 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 major music industry awards – including 19 Academy of Country Music Awards, 17 Country Music Association Awards, a pair of Grammys and ASCAP’s Founders and Golden Note Awards.https://www.countryschatter.com/2022/11/alan-jackson-honored-with-cmas-willie-nelson-lifetime-achievement-award/https://i0.wp.com/www.countryschatter.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Alan-Jackson-scaled.jpeg?fit=660%2C440&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/www.countryschatter.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Alan-Jackson-scaled.jpeg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1AwardsPress ReleaseAlan Jackson,Carrie Underwood,dierks bentley,Jon Pardi,Lainey Wilson,The strayhorns,Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award
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