Alan Jackson Thanks Fans, Country Radio At CMAs Tribute

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Alan Jackson had a message Wednesday night for his fans around the world: “Appreciate y’all.”

The 64-year-old singer, who lives with a degenerative nerve condition, gave an emotional speech while accepting the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award at the 56th Country Music Association Awards (CMAs).

“Country music’s been real good to me,” Jackson said, after performing his hit “Don't Rock the Jukebox.” He reflected on what attracted him to country music and how he came to Nashville with nothing to carry on the music he loves.

Jackson acknowledged the songwriters who helped him become successful and he praised his wife of 43 years, Denise. He also thanked “radio and all the parts of country music that have been so good to me all these years.

“I’ve definitely lived the American dream. And I’m still living that honky tonk dream, y’all.”

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The tribute to Jackson began with Carrie Underwood singing a bit of his 2003 ballad “Remember When” before Dierks Bentley performed Jackson’s 1993 hit “Chattahoochee,” Jon Pardi did “Drive (For Daddy Gene)” and Lainey Wilson sang “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow.”

Jackson has collected 15 CMAs during his career, including three for Entertainer of the Year and two for Male Vocalist of the Year.

Previous recipients of the CMA’s Lifetime Achievement Award include Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, Loretta Lynn, Kenny Rogers, Johnny Cash and Charley Pride.

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