Alan Jackson's impact on country music has resulted in one of the most respected and sought after careers. His timeless songs and well-suited style has led him to icon status. While the superstar has mostly remained clear of any controversy, Alan has musically made risky moves throughout his illustrious career.
The bluegrass album - Listen to any random top forty hit and you'll notice that steel guitars and fiddles have been replaced with synthesizing beats and cheap guitar riffs straight from Bon Jovi's "Slippery When Wet" eighties record. It appears as if every radio act is experimenting with sounds that differ from country, including Alan Jackson. Alan's next disc, "The Bluegrass Album," is a fourteen track collection consisting of, yes, bluegrass music. The highly-anticipated release is scheduled to hit stores on September 24, 2013.
Gone country - Alan Jackson's hit "Gone Country" from his quadruple platinum "Who I Am" record is identified as one of his classics. While the song's uptempo hook easily captures listener's attention, the lyrics criticize the music industry. Writer Bob McDill perfectly illustrated the sudden commercial growth of country music and how others quickly followed suit. Alan Jackson, a known traditionalist, was the perfect voice for the tune that hit number one in 1994.
Here he comes - During the 1994 Academy of Country Music Awards, Alan Jackson was invited to perform. This was one of his first major primetime television spots and a big deal for an artist on the verge of superstardom. Due to time constraints, producers decided to play an instrumental track of background music instead of Alan's band playing live. Alan wasn't happy with the decision. During the live show, his band was informed to pretend to play their instruments, which were unplugged. In a humorous move, Alan Jackson instructed his drummer not to use his drumsticks while he was playing. Quick to notice, producers scrambled, cutting away to get any shots that didn't include the drummer.
Pop a top - Since the beginning of his career, Alan Jackson has made public stances about his devotion to traditional country music. His occasional duet partner, George Jones, ranks as one of his musical influences. A widely publicized accident that left George Jones in critical condition in 1999 made national headlines. He eventually recovered and made a comeback on radio with "Choices." The song was nominated for single of the year by the Country Music Association. Producers asked George to perform at the awards show, only to inform the legend that he was allotted thirty seconds of performance time. George Jones rightfully declined the invitation to perform and didn't bother to show up on awards night. Alan Jackson stunned everyone, especially the telecast's producers, while he was performing his single at the time, "Pop A Top." Midway through the song, Alan launched into George's "Choices." The Grand Ole Opry House erupted in applause with stars like Travis Tritt and Mark Wills leading a lengthy standing ovation. The moment remains one of the telecast's most memorable.
Under the influence - By the late 90s, country artists were reaping the success of having crossover hits. Martina McBride's "I Love You," "Your Still the One" by Shania Twain, and "Amazed" by Lonestar were among the most popular genre-bending songs. Alan Jackson shook things up radio when he released an album full of cover songs by classic country artists. The lead single, "Pop A Top" peaked at number six, while Alan's spin on Don William's "It Must Be Love" topped the charts in 2000. Alan was recognized for his outstanding work by the Country Music Association with a nomination for album of the year.
Murder on music row - Two of country music's biggest stars, Alan Jackson and George Strait, collaborated on "Murder on Music Row" in 2000. The song, featuring background vocals by Lee Ann Womack, referenced radio's lack of traditional country artists using humorous plays on words. The tune didn't fare well on radio, but scored the duo an award from the Country Music Association and an opening slot at the 2001 Academy of Country Music Awards.
Where were you - Alan Jackson took a risk when he decided to perform "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning) on the CMA Awards in 2001. The reaction to the somber and well-versed masterpiece centered on the tragedies of 9/11 was immediate. Demand from listeners prompted radio programmers to air Alan's live version until an official studio recording surfaced. Honors from music organization, including the Grammy's, soon followed. The song that Alan once doubted performing is now considered his greatest musical contribution.
Here in the real world - When Arista Records formed a Nashville branch, Alan Jackson became the label's first act. With Alan's immediate success, country acts such as Brooks & Dunn and Diamond Rio were quickly signed to the rising company. Thirteen studio albums and sixty singles were released by Arista from 1989 to 2011 when Alan opted not to renew his contact. Now under the helm of Capitol Records, home of Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, and Eric Church, Alan is ready to forge ahead musically and creatively.