For over 25 years, Alan Jackson has topped the charts with his signature style of traditional country music. His old-school sound draws deeply from the classic crop of country legends from yesteryear.
George Jones was one of the most influential artists for Jackson, and it shows in a big way. Not only does Jackson mention the Possum in his hit tracks “Don’t Rock the Jukebox” and “Murder on Music Row,” but his expertise in storytelling and conveying just the right amount of emotion in each track is clearly harnessed from Jones’ influence.
When Jackson was asked what song impacted him as an artist, he naturally chose Jones’ 1980 career-defining track, “He Stopped Loving Her Today”.
“‘He Stopped Loving Her Today’ is as near a perfect country song as you could ever imagine,” Jackson told Wide Open Country. “[Songwriters] Bobby Braddock and Curly Putnam – the story they tell along with that melody is just so sad. And then to hear George sing it – it’s just one of those magical moments when the right song finds the right voice. You just can’t imagine anybody else ever doing it, you know?”
Below, you’ll see an emotional Jackson perform a heartbreaking rendition of “He Stopped Loving Her Today” during Jones’ funeral ceremony at the Grand Ole Opry House in 2013.
Jackson is currently supporting his twentieth studio album, Angels and Alcohol, released on July 17. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of his country music debut, Jackson will release Genuine: The Alan Jackson Story, a boxed set that features eight unreleased tracks, exclusively through Walmart on Nov. 6.