After Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson was the most popular male country singer of the '90s. He got 20 number one singles and 20 more Top Ten hits, all in the first 12 years of his career. Jackson was born in the small town of Newnan, GA, on October 17, 1958. He grew up singing gospel music, both in church and at home with his family, and as a teenager performed locally as part of a country duo. He left school to work and married his high school sweetheart, Denise, who worked as an airline stewardess.
During the early '80s, Jackson played in local clubs with his band, Dixie Steel, and kept working on his songwriting. He had his big opportunity when Denise found country-pop star Glen Campbell waiting for a flight and gave him a copy of her husband's demo tape; Campbell in turn gave her contact information for his music publishing company, and the Jacksons picked up and moved to Nashville shortly thereafter. In 1989, Jackson became the first artist signed to Arista's new country division.
Jackson's debut album, “Here in the Real World,” was issued in 1990 and became a platinum-selling hit on the strength of four Top Five hits: the title cut, "Chasin' That Neon Rainbow," "Wanted," and the first of many chart-toppers, "I'd Love You All Over Again." With 1992's “A Lot about Livin' (And a Little 'Bout Love),” Jackson took his place as not only one of the most popular stars of his time, but also one of the best. In late 1993, Jackson released the holiday album “Honky Tonk Christmas.”
He returned in 1994 with “Who I Am,” his second straight number one country album, which gave him four number one singles. In only his fifth year on the scene, Jackson was able to issue The Greatest Hits Collection: It took The Greatest Hits Collection only a year to sell over three million copies.
1996's Everything I Love became his fourth straight release to top the country album charts. Jackson paid tribute to his favorite country singers of the past on the 1999 covers album Under the Influence, which featured material by Jones, Merle Haggard, Charley Pride, Jimmy Buffett, Hank Williams Jr., Don Williams (the chart-topping "It Must Be Love"), and Jim Ed Brown (the Top Ten "Pop a Top"), among others.
Although Under the Influence just missed hitting number one, 2000's When Somebody Loves You returned Jackson to the top of the album charts and gave him another number one in "Where I Come From." After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Jackson released "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" as a tribute. The song rocketed to the top of the country charts. It was followed by the album Drive in 2002, which spawned another number one in "Drive (For Daddy Gene)" a tribute to Jackson's late father. Alan Jackson's newest studio album, Good Time, was released on March 4, 2008.