On November 9, 2022, Alan Jackson attended the 56th annual Country Music Awards (CMA), where he was awarded the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award. While accepting the accolade, the star noted how he had lived the American dream.
Alan Jackson at the 56th Annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena on November 9, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee | Source: Getty Images
Speaking about the award and what it meant to him, the then 64-year-old artist said he was “still living that honky-tonk dream.” The Grammy Award winner also gave an emotional speech mentioning how a Hank Williams movie inspired him to move to Nashville, Tennessee.
At the time, Alan only had “three chords and a prayer,” but as his mother always said, he was blessed. The country musician shared how he had a fantastic team throughout his career and incredible songwriters.
He noted how fortunate he’d been to have all the assistance he needed to get this far. The singer acknowledged how he couldn’t thank each person who’d been in his life but gave a special thanks to his wife, Denise Jackson, sharing how they started as teenagers, before adding:
“I’m probably not always the easiest person to love, but she’s been there and helped me through hard times. And we’ve shared great times.”
Denise and Alan Jackson at the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards on April 15, 2018, in Las Vegas | Source: Getty Images
Alan explained how they’d gone through the bad, good, happy, and sad times, noting, “we’ve survived a lot.” Speaking to his wife, standing in the crowd, the star said he wanted to thank her because she held him up through the years and was his best friend.
He also noted how Denise had given him a “wonderful family,” too. Other artists who’ve received the prestigious award include Charley Pride, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, and many more.
It was no surprise that Alan mentioned his long-term wife in a rare show of emotion. The couple had gone through it all in their decade-long relationship, with his wife’s faith playing a significant role.
43 Years of Love: Alan Jackson’s Happiness with His Wife
In 2007, Denise spoke to Today about her relationship with Alan, which had been going on since 1979, revealing how life wasn’t a fairy tale even when a person had a perfect spouse. The singer’s wife urged people not to make their partners their “all-in-all.”
Denise and Alan Jackson at a Grammy Awards ceremony on February 25, 1992 | Source: Getty Images
Denise also clarified that the “Him” mentioned in the title of her book was God and not her husband. The star’s spouse recalled an incident when she was driving home and started crying to God that she couldn’t take it any longer.
She told God she couldn’t believe He wanted her family to fall apart and gave the issue to Him. Denise believed God would care for her, and things didn’t change instantly, but a “sense of peace” overcame her.
Alan’s wife realized she had become controlling and how she’d adopted that stance. Speaking about her husband, Denise noted how he had a strong personality and that the more his career grew, the more insecure she felt.
Alan Jackson and his wife Denise Jackson at the 34th Annual CMA Awards in Nashville on October 4, 2000 | Source: Getty Images
The star’s significant other started absorbing herself into her husband’s woN, 10/4/0rld, and her dreams became his. She explained everything was about Alan and his plans, while she lost herself.
The couple separated for three months, and Alan’s career continued climbing when they finally reunited. He became a mainstream artist and won awards for his September 11 song, “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning).”
Alan wrote the foreword in Denise’s book and noted how much of the information was private. While on Today, the star sang “It’s All About Him,” a song he’d written for his wife and her book, before proudly saying:
“I think her goal was to show people how you can survive a lot of things.”
Besides having issues in their marriage that drew them apart for a while, the couple also faced some medical problems. Denise gave her husband continuous support as he faced a health scare.
Alan Jackson Faced Health Problems: What Happened?
In September 2021, Alan told the Today show that he’d been battling Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease for the past ten years. The degenerative nerve condition had slowly been affecting his ability to perform on stage and walk.
He explained he’d been reluctant about publicly coming forward but had started feeling increasingly uncomfortable while performing on stage. So he wanted the fans who came to see him to know what was happening.
Alan shared that he didn’t want his fans to think he was drunk because he struggled with balance and mobility. He said the neuropathy and neurological disease were inherited from his father.