Alan Jackson: Country Music Star from Newnan

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Country singer Alan Jackson was born on Oct. 17, 1958 in Newnan, Georgia. He married his high school sweetheart, Denise, in 1979 and they are still together today with three daughters.

Jackson grew up in rural Georgia; he lived with his parents and four older sisters in a house built around his grandfather's old toolshed. Shortly after marrying Denise, the couple moved to Nashville, Tennessee so he could pursue a career in music. After a long series of rejections, he finally landed a recording deal with Arista Records. The tremendous success of his debut album, “Here in the Real World” (1990), marked Jackson's arrival among a group of country artists including Randy Travis, Clint Black, Travis Tritt, Garth Brooks, and Vince Gill. That represented a new brand of traditionalism in country music and the end of the synthesized pop country trend of the 1980’s.

An accomplished songwriter, Jackson wrote much of his first album, which remained on the U.S. country charts for more than a year. His next two albums, “Don't Rock the Jukebox” (1991) and “A Lot About Livin’…and a Little 'Bout Love” (1992) were even bigger hits, spawning five No.1 singles each. Notable among these hits were "Love's Got a Hold on You," "Midnight in Montgomery" (Jackson's tribute to the legendary country star Hank Williams), and "Chattahoochee." With the 1994 release of his fifth album,  “Who I Am,” Jackson's record sales reached a total of over $10 million.

Throughout the course of his career, Jackson has been honored with over 45 awards from organizations like the Academy of Country Music (ACM) and the Country Music Association (CMA). He released his Greatest Hits album in 1995 and won eight major awards, including CMA Entertainer of the Year. Later albums included “High Mileage” (1998) and “Under the Influence.”

Jackson's "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)," a song commemorating those lost in the September 11 terror attacks, earned him his first Grammy Award for Best Country Song. He received four CMA Awards that year, tying with Johnny Cash for the most CMA wins in a year. His 2006 gospel album, “Precious Memories,” was originally recorded as a gift to his mother.

In 1998, USA Today broke the news that he and his wife Denise had separated; they reconciled later that year, and renewed their wedding vows on the 19th anniversary of their marriage. The couple has three daughters, Mattie, Alexandra, and Dani. Jackson’s mother and his sisters and their families still reside in Coweta County.

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