Alan Jackson: Country Music Star Pays Moving Tribute At CMA Awards [Video]

Country music legend Alan Jackson took to the stage at last night’s Academy of Country Music Awards (ACMs) at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, to “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning).” Jackson was introduced by former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman and according to The Boot Jackson played a slow acoustic version of his hit song and moved the packed audience to silence.

Jackson and Aikman dedicated the song to the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing, which had occurred 20-years-ago to the day, on April 19, 1995. As Alan Jackson played, the hushed crowd watched a backdrop of scenes from the atrocity flash on the large screen behind him. The tribute was all the more poignant given that Jackson wrote the song as a tribute to those murdered in the attack on New York City’s twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001. According to the Hollywood Reporter many in the audience were moved to tears by Jacksons performance.

Alan Jackson says that he wrote the song in under one hour but that he was just a “conduit” for the song. Jackson’s performance was both gripping and spellbinding. Obviously, award ceremonies are designed to be lighthearted and joyful occasions, but many felt that it was entirely appropriate for Jackson to take time out to remember such a solemn and tragic event.

As a veteran Country star, Alan Jackson is no stranger to the ACM awards, he has won no fewer than 18 gongs in his time but he was not a nominee this year. Jackson has won the Best Male Vocalist on three occasions and even co-hosted the star-studded bash on one occasion in 1994.

Whilst co-hosting the event, Alan Jackson and his band created quite a stir after he had been told that he must perform his then just released single, “Gone Country” to a backing track instead of having his band play live. As Jackson performed onstage with his band it was clear that the drummer was playing without drum sticks.

Alan Jackson now has more than a quarter of a century as a recording artist under his belt and, according to Taste Of Country, Jackson is about to drop a new album, his first for three years. Jackson’s new disc will be titled Angels And Alcohol, and is set for release in July. This is Alan Jackson’s 15th studio album and he penned seven of the album’s 10 tracks.

Did you see Alan Jackson perform last night? What did you think of his performance?

[Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images]