While he’s a man that needs little introduction, we’ll go ahead and give him one anyway just in case any of you out there have been living under a rock for the last several decades.
Alan Jackson is an American country star best known for the unique way that he blends honky-tonk and mainstream country sounds together to create a style that is typically referred to as neotraditional music. He’s one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Some of his biggest career hits include the songs Chattahoochee, Livin’ on Love, The Older I Get, and Midnight in Montgomery. Throughout his career, Jackson has sold more than 75 million records globally. More than half of those record sales made in the US alone.
Since 1983 when he set off on his musical journey, Jackson has had 66 of his songs appear on the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks charts. 38 of these tunes have reached the top five and 35 have gone all the way to number one. 9 of his albums have certified multi-platinum and he has honored with a total of two Grammys, 16 CMAs, and 17 ACM awards.
Jackson inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2001 and he is also a member of the Grand Ole Opry. In 2017, he inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and just a year later he admitted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Jackson is 62 years old and still very much so active in the music industry, but in 2021 he made a rather startling announcement on The Today Show regarding his health. Keep watching to see what he had to say and what his prognosis is currently looking like.
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Jackson recently gave an exclusive interview with Jenna Bush Hager of The Today Show. In that conversation, he revealed that he has diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, an uncommon degenerative nerve condition.
Jackson spoke to Jenna via telelink from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. He opened up about living with the condition and how it has impacted his ability to walk. Jackson further revealed that he diagnosed with CMT about a decade ago.
The disease is both neuropathic and neurological in nature. Jackson also indicated that he had inherited the genetically linked disease from his father. Currently, there is no known cure for CMT and as time goes on. Jackson’s symptoms will only continue to get worse as the disease progresses.
Jackson told Jenna that dealing with the condition has become more and more obvious and troubling as time has gone by. He struggles to walk without stumbling about, and now his balance is starting to affected as well.
CMT affects the peripheral nervous system and causes problems with balance by compromising smaller and weaker muscles located in the extremities of the body. While it can be a debilitating and wildly uncomfortable experience to live with the disease. Fortunately, it does not alter one’s life expectancy.
CMT is related to other disorders such as muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease. But unlike the latter, it’s not known to be deadly. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke indicates that while there is no cure for CMT. It can managed with supportive therapy. But even so, it’s a struggle that Jackson is going to have to deal with for the remainder of his life.
At the moment, Jackson doesn’t plan on putting his career on hold because of his diagnosis. He’s a fighter and dedicated to his craft. It’s unlikely that anything could pull him away from his music anytime soon.
Jackson told Jenna that he has no intentions of doing a big. Elaborate retirement tour like so many other artists have done only to take a year off and then come back into the spotlight. He described such a scenario as being cheesy and reassured his fans that he still plans on touring as much as he possibly can. Given the circumstances, in the future.
Jackson has always put his family first and they’ve always been right there beside him to lend support whenever he needs it the most. Let’s take a moment to look at his family life and his role as a father. Very few stars are capable of balancing their work and personal lives as well as Jackson has. But it hasn’t always been easy.
Jackson Married His High School Sweetheart
Alan Jackson and his wife Denise Jackson have married for 41 years, but their journey together has had its fair share of difficulties. Of course, there have been good times as well as bad ones. Tears, mistakes, and betrayal have been a part of their story. But regardless of how difficult things got at times, Denise and Alan never let their flame dim. Their love has endured through all of the pain and they’ve made room in their hearts to allow for forgiveness, understanding, and healing.
Their story starts out like so many others. Alan met Denise back when they were both still teenagers attending Newman High School in Georgia. The first time that Alan asked Denise out, she actually turned him down. But a couple of years later, he worked up the courage to ask her out again, and this time she said yes.
On their first date, he took her out for a drive in his white Thunderbird convertible and they went on to go on many more dates together.
On December 15, 1979, Alan and Denise got married. A few years later, they moved to Nashville, Tennessee so that Alan could pursue his dream of becoming a country music star. Alan got a job in a mailroom to support him and his wife. And at night he would go out on the town to play his music.
Denise worked as a flight attendant. One day, she ran into singer-songwriter Glen Campbell at the airport. After approaching him and telling him about her husband’s aspirations of being a country music artist. Campbell gave Denise his business card. Seemingly overnight, Alan was signed to his first record deal.
Alan released his first album ‘Here in the Real World’ in 1991. The album was immensely successful and went on to sell over two million copies. That same year, Denise gave birth to her and Alan’s first daughter, Mattie. Three years later they welcomed another baby girl, Alexandra Jane into the world. In 1997, they celebrated the birth of their third daughter, Dani Grace.
Alan’s career continued to flourish and with that came great fame and fortune. He built a huge plantation-style mansion for his family but although everything looked pretty magical on the outside. In reality, everything was crumbling on the inside.
During 1997, after being married for 18 years, Alan and Denise made the shocking announcement that they had separated. In her 2007 memoir, It’s All About Him: Finding The Love Of My Life, Denise revealed that it was Alan’s infidelity that ultimately led them to separate.
While their separation and the circumstances that led to it were no doubt difficult on both of them. Denise found a renewed connection and commitment to God and her Christian life while apart from her husband. This gave her the strength to forgive him for betraying her. They then went to marital counseling together and reconciled about a year later.
Alan and Denise have been together ever since but it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Alan had to make major changes in his life to maintain the peace. While their marriage is far from perfect, they put in the footwork required to keep it going and rely upon open-honest communication to make sure that each other feels loved and appreciated.
Father Of Three
Alan Jackson raised his three children at the height of his career. But his dedication to his daughters has never faltered, despite his diagnosis.
Mattie Denise Jackson, Alan’s first child was born on June 19, 1990. While she hasn’t become a country star like her father, Mattie has still found success in her life. After graduating from the University of Tennessee in 2012. She co-founded an organization called NaSHEville which seeks to celebrate sisterhood and give back orphans, widows, and victims of human trafficking. She is also the host of the podcast ‘She’s in the City’ while operating a blog of the same name.
In October 2017, Mattie got married to her husband Samuel ‘Ben’ Selecman. Sadly, Samuel, who worked as an assistant district attorney in Tennessee killed in September 2018 after sustaining a traumatic injury sustained from falling off a boat dock.
Alexandra ‘Ali’ Jane Jackson, Alan’s second daughter, was born on August 23, 1993. Unlike her sister Mattie, Ali tries her best to stay out of the spotlight.
Ali married her husband, Sam Bradshaw, in July 2018 and shared several pictures from her big day on Instagram. She has also been featured on her sister’s social media pages on several occasions. But beyond that, she prefers to keep her life fairly private.
Alan’s third daughter, Dani Grace Jackson, was born on August 28, 1997. Like Ali, Dani also prefers to keep the majority of her personal life outside of the public eye. So there really isn’t much info about her online. Her Instagram is set to private but it also looks like hasn’t made any posts so perhaps she has another account.
Even though we don’t know much about her, it’s clear that Alan and Denise did a great job raising her and her sisters.
Alan Jackson released his twenty-first studio album, Where Have You Gone, on May 14, 2021. And although he is currently on tour, he does have an upcoming show in Nashville on October 8th.
It’s nice to see that he hasn’t let his diagnosis interfere with his music. At this point, Jackson is a living legend. And that exclusive club is starting to lose its members to old age. Hopefully, he’ll be around for many years to come continuing to put out hits. But most importantly it’s our hope that he can continue to be such a solid pillar of stability in his wife and daughter’s lives.
Anyway, you’ve listened to me babble for a few minutes, now’s your turn to let your voice be heard. What’s your favorite Alan Jackson song or album? Let us know in the comments section below.
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