Alan Jackson Receives Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award


Alan Jackson Photo courtesy UMG Nashville
Photo courtesy UMG Nashville

(UMG Nashville) Alan Jackson's 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, during the 56th Annual CMA Awards last week.

"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 below).

"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!"

Watch Jackson's acceptance speech and performance below:

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