5 Little Known Facts About Alan Jackson

Alan Jackson is one of the most popular country musicians in history. Known for his signature cowboy hat and resistance to the rise of country pop, Jackson considers himself the stronghold of traditional country music. Known for songs such as “Chattahoochee,” “Don’t Rock The Jukebox,” and “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” Jackson has been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Here are five fascinating facts you might not know about the country star.

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1. He has strong opinions about country music. 

Jackson’s musical style is traditional, evoking the honky-tonk era of the 20th century. The singer feels strongly about what country music should be, particularly as pop country has become more popular. In 1994, he appeared at the Country Music Awards wearing a Hank Williams T-shirt and blue jeans to make a point about the glamorization of country. Five years later, he took a stand for country music legend George Jones, who refused to attend the CMAs after organizers cut his set time to 90 seconds. Jackson cut his performance short to sing an excerpt of Jones’ song “Choices.” 

2. He has some pretty famous friends. 

It’s not surprising that a country star has some famous connections. Jackson is close to George Strait, with whom he sang “Murder on Music Row.” He was also great friends with George Jones, who had long been one of his musical idols. Jackson and Jones honored their friendship publicly more than once; Jones made an unannounced appearance at the CMT Giants ceremony honoring Jackson in 2008. Five years later, Jackson performed at the country star’s funeral, singing one of his signature songs, “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”

3. His childhood was rustic.

Jackson grew up in a small, tightly-knit community. However, his childhood home was unorthodox. His parents married as teenagers and moved into a tool shed on his grandparents’ property. The shed had no running water, and Jackson had to sleep in a hallway until age 10 when his older sister left home and opened up a room. Eventually, his parents added to the shed and turned it into a proper home. Jackson later said that he never felt poor because of the strong community support around him. 

4. There’s an interesting story behind his signature cowboy hat.

Jackson has rarely been seen without his famous cowboy hat. You might think it’s just because of his love of country music, but the decision goes a bit deeper than that. He wears it to cover up a scar on his forehead, a relic of running through a glass door as a teenager. It left him with a large, noticeable scar on his forehead. Feeling self-conscious, Jackson started wearing the cowboy hat as a teenager and never stopped. As for his famous long hair, that happened because he never had time to get haircuts while he was touring. 

5. He wasn’t always a fan of music. 

While some musicians had a deep-seated love of music since childhood, it wasn’t the case for the country star. Most of the songs he heard while growing up were Gospel music, and he didn’t consider himself a particularly musical person. It wasn’t until one of his friends introduced him to classic country music that he developed a passion for it. Jackson became a huge fan of Gene Watson, Merle Haggard, and Hank Williams Jr. His parents bought him his first guitar when he was 16, and he rapidly became interested in pursuing music as a career. 

Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

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